Another Earth just twelve light years away?

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Another Earth just twelve light years away?



  • Patrick Ritchie

    Fascinating. Assuming there is an earth like planet there and we could get to 25% of c you could make the trip within a human lifetime. That’s a lot of IFs, but it’s fun to speculate….

  • If we don’t destroy ourselves (I’m not particularly optimistic on that), and if we discover a suitable planet within, oh, say, fifteen to twenty light years, we’re going to find a way to get there. As far as sustaining a multi-generational program, there are a number of European cathedrals that took centuries to build. We can do it.

  • Pzatchok

    I have thought about this a bit.

    If we build a generational spacecraft whats stopping the occupants from choosing to just stay in space?

    Lets say it takes a lifetime to get to the next solar system. It might not have a suitable planet to live on but it will have suitable asteroids for materials and fuel.
    And that fuel/material will be needed to get to the next solar system.
    Well once we have made the leap frog like trip to a solar system with a suitable planet to live on.
    Whats to say the planet is life sustaining when we get there. It might take another lifetime in space orbiting that planet while we terraform it just enough to live on the surface. Seeding the oceans could take a while.
    And it will take several lifetimes for earth type biological life to change enough of the surface material to a suitable organic material for natural plant growth.
    You can’t just drop seeds onto sterile sand or rocks, add water and hope that something grows.

    Well by that time our children might just say goodby to those who want to stay on the planet and move onto the next solar system.

    As soon as we build a generational spaceship we are no longer a planet bound species. We are a space bound species.

    And here is a BIG question. Who gets to go? Not the people exactly but the society we choose to populate the ship with.
    A western society, Chinese communist, Muslim, or a random choice? Only let the nations who fund it on board? Or leave it up to random chance?
    What if some nut case extremist group doesn’t make the cut and decides to stop the project by force?

    I personally want my descendants to go. Carry my genetic structure and family name to the stars.

  • Evolution has two basic requirements: time and liquid water.

    Tau Ceti is a bright G-type yellow main-sequence star twice as old as the sun that probably has at least one planet in the liquid water zone.

    I expect it will be another hundred years before we find out much more. Will the theory of evolution survive?

    You make a great point Pzatchok. I expect settlers won’t be from a generation ship as much as from Oort cloud cultures continuing to expand outward.

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