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[–] rwbj 1 points 551 points (+552|-1) ago 

For those that may not realize, these distances are easily traversable within the life of a single human - and much much further in fact. We can never perceive anything as going faster than the speed of light, but from your own perspective (or for instance, from those aboard the ship) you can continue to accelerate with no 'speed limit'. The universe 'cheats' to keep things within the speed of light from your perspective such as making time for you start to slow down (1 second for you might be 10 seconds or even 10 years for a relatively at rest observer) and distances themselves will begin to physically contract but the net result is that you get to travel distances far beyond what you could in the lifetime of a single human.

Here some examples of the math are worked out. In particular if we can build a craft capable of accelerating at 1g per second then:

  • In 3.6 years you can travel 4.3 light years.

  • In 6.6 years you can travel 27 light years.

  • In 20 years you can travel 30,000 light years.

  • In 28 years you can travel 2,000,000 light years.

And according to my calculations, 1400 light years at 1g acceleration would take about 14 years. As an interesting aside 7 of those years are spent decelerating. You accelerate as fast as you can for 7 years and then decelerate for 7 years to reach the object at rest.

This is not a theory (in the colloquial sense). The math is used for instance to synchronize GPS satellites with earth. They rely on extremely high precision atomic clocks yet travel fast enough that relativistic effects make their clocks tick, from our perspective, faster than clocks on earth do. If these relativistic effects were not accounted for GPS errors would accumulate to the tune of 10 kilometers a day!

Essentially our universe allows you to press a 'fast forward' button if you yourself meet certain conditions such as traveling sufficiently rapidly or being within the vicinity of a body with a sufficiently large gravitational pull. Some people may not realize the science in the movie Interstellar, for instance, was based on our actual universe. Of course by the time you reach your destination everybody and everything you knew is long since dead. Although in some mind bending 'paradoxes' if humanity later develops an even faster ship you might make it there in 14 years only to find that people born hundreds of years after you left are already there... Gotta love our universe.

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[–] Rea11yN0tMe 3 points 48 points (+51|-3) ago 

Life is sometimes unfair. For this well written and interesting comment I brought the upvoat counter to +3. A few days ago I got 100+ upvoats for 'Pao in the kisser' :)

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[–] HST 1 points 10 points (+11|-1) ago 

It's at nearly 200 now, and it will reach at least 300 before the post stops showing up. Probably even closer to 400, depending on how stagnant voat's front page is right now.

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[–] andrewsad1 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Hi! I'm from 6 hours in the future, and it's at 376 right now!

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[–] Sir_Laughs-a-lot 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Hahaha, I forgot about that. You want me to go take mine back to balance things?

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[–] ConceptOfOne 3 points 0 points (+3|-3) ago 

STFU

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[–] 1301918? 0 points 25 points (+25|-0) ago 

If I left Earth at 30 years old, I would arrive at our destination when I'm 50 and Earth would be 30,000 years older? And communications would take 30,000 years to reach Earth from wherever I travelled?

(This stuff is impossible for me to wrap my head around.)

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[–] Grospoliner 0 points 26 points (+26|-0) ago 

Yes. The effects are due to time dilation which occurs as objects approach relativistic (near light speed) speeds. If it took you 20 years to travel to the planet 30 000 light years away, then 30 000 years would pass sidereal (on Earth).

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[–] unixfreak 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

Nothing else fascinates me as much as thinking about that.

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[–] Eihwaz 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Watch Interstellar, it'll give you a rough idea about it.

Plus, it's a damn good movie. :D

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[–] Sexualizer 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

And just think, that could be common knowledge in 20 or 50 years from now.

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[–] Deathcrow 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

You left out an important detail, that is mentioned in the link you linked:

30,000 ly Center of our galaxy 955,000 tonnes

The amount of fuel required for such a trip is far beyond anything practical. And these calculations use a "perfect" drive, that would convert matter to energy with 100% efficiency. Not to mention the kind of drive-power you would need to keep the 1g acceleration with such high mass this close to c. These calculations assume that you could just throw tons of fuel per second into your engine without it blowing up.

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[–] rwbj 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago  (edited ago)

You're definitely right on the fuel issue. This is why things like the theoretic EM drive being researched at NASA are so huge. It's generating thrust without fuel in seeming contradiction to the law of the conservation of momentum. NASA remain skeptical, as do I, but if this engine can actually produce thrust independently in space then we suddenly have the potential for practical interstellar travel.

What you mention about requiring more energy to accelerate the closer you are to the speed of light is only from an observer's point of view. Think about the fact that relative to something somewhere in the universe we are almost certainly moving some large fraction of the speed of light. Yet there's no asymptotic cost on energy:acceleration. From the perspective of the thing being observed traveling relatively near the speed of light basic newtonian mechanics of acceleration continue to apply regardless of their velocity relative to something else. In fact a measurable asymptote on the energy for acceleration would actually break all of relativity which specifically requires that the laws of physics are identical within an inertial reference frame. And the ship, when not accelerating, would be an inertial reference frame. This is why getting something that can produce even a feather of thrust without fuel would immediately thrust (sorry) us into the realm of relativistic travel.

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[–] Detente01 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

the faster you go the more mass you and your fuel has thus your fuel with more mass equals more energy and reactive force from burning it

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[–] 1982 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Silence! (PS I wasn't the guy that gave u the downvoat)

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[–] NattyL1ght 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Thank you for this concise explanation!

I am reading Neil deGrasse Tyson's book Death By Black Hole, and some of the time dilation concepts are covered but I haven't really been able to put it all together until I read your comment.

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[–] UlfuricAcid 3 points 62 points (+65|-3) ago 

Good news everybody! We can finish trashing this planet and head over to New Earth when we're done!

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[–] Dalroc 7 points 6 points (+13|-7) ago 

Yeah about that... I don't think you understand how vast space is and how slow light, and therefore everything else, is..

[–] [deleted] 2 points 29 points (+31|-2) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] fuckthisshitagain 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Na not yet, lets inhabit Mars and harvest the Moon first.

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[–] Hateblade 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Na, let's just stay here until we experience an extinction event.

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[–] Nue 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

The planet is 1.5 billion years older then Earth so someone may have already trashed it.

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[–] Failgain 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I don't want to live in this planet any more.

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[–] Redeyedjedi [S] 3 points 62 points (+65|-3) ago 

*within

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[–] AmericanCheese 1 points 16 points (+17|-1) ago 

This makes a big difference.

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[–] SirPremierViceroy 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

"It's in a system that has a habitable zone..."

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[–] Kleyno 0 points 12 points (+12|-0) ago 

Thanks, Stannis.

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[–] Veni_Vidi_Vici 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

OP, be honest now.

Did you accidently try to go for the double whammy for SCP and CCP? :)

Honestly, nice post very interesting.

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[–] Redeyedjedi [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Honestly, no, posted hastily from a cell phone. Noticed after, now kinda upset with myself for not deleting and reposting as people may be misled by the title.

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[–] JimmyJimRyan 0 points 28 points (+28|-0) ago 

Step 1 : Find planet

Step 2 : Invent warp drive

Step 3 : Find horny 25 year old to captain ship

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[–] user1ne 0 points 18 points (+18|-0) ago 

I've found your captain.

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[–] Megapwnd 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago  (edited ago)

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[–] MrBlueSky 1 points 11 points (+12|-1) ago 

I think this counts as horny

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[–] 1982 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Disappointed it wasn't leeloo.

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[–] Sylos 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

We're working on the warp drive right now!

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[–] JimmyJimRyan 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Cool, If you need funding and you can get to warp like 1.2 I have about $4.62 I can give you.

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[–] Penguinkeith 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

With no expected breakthroughs in sight :p

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[–] tyeis 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

If you can't be with the one you love. Love the one you're with.

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[–] bombdiggity 0 points 25 points (+25|-0) ago 

Where are we at with the cryogenic hibernation technology? I'm ready to be shipped there!

[–] [deleted] 0 points 59 points (+59|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] voat-ist 0 points 37 points (+37|-0) ago 

I think its worse than this. We are pretty sure they won't wake up when we unfreeze them. One of the promises is that they won't be woken up until we figure out how to deal with the fact that their water has been crystallized. The process of freezing is destructive to human tissue. So We have to deal with that and we don't really know that there is a solution.

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[–] bombdiggity 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

I suppose that would be a good thing to know first.

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[–] jeegte12 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

that sounds like we don't have it now.

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[–] Fuzzyoctopus 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I think we'd send animals first at least because... You know, alien diseases could be bad

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[–] NapoleonComplex 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

I'm with you but I think we should probably wait until they figure out if there is an atmosphere or even solid ground to stand on

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[–] bombdiggity 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

Yeah I suppose you're right :( We wouldn't want to wake up to 300 foot waves crashing on the ship with no land in sight!

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[–] XDvandalDJ 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Yeah it would be disappointing to be frozen for 2 thousand years only to wake up to a planet similar to Mars.

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[–] Grospoliner 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

It's very close to the hot edge of the habitable zone for the star, the planet will be very arid. It's also being assumed that it has a magnetosphere and liquid water. It would still be a major gamble to launch a manned mission there.

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[–] JungleBoogieMonster 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Or we could always simply, you know, bend space.

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[–] voat-simulator 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Yeah, it may be slower, but it's definitely safer than tunneling.

[–] [deleted] 2 points 20 points (+22|-2) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] localbum 1 points 16 points (+17|-1) ago 

That's a fantastic point. Look at the way we treat ourselves, and we want to go and make contact with other things out there? Why? Why would they want to make contact with us?

If the house down the street is always filled with screaming fights and gunshots, I'm not answering the door if they come over to ask me how I'm doing.

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[–] Grospoliner 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

The odds of us encountering intelligent life are astronomically low, especially a space-faring species. There is literally just too much space between stars and we are too limited by conventional technology to ever be able to expect much. Unless FTL can be illustrated as even existing (let alone feasible) we have to make all assumptions based on our current level of knowledge. This means we have to limit our imagination to the logistics currently available and that means slow, self-sustaning, generational ships, with no communications to home.

Space is a very lonely place.

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[–] drj2 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Are we even going to be able to communicate with them? We haven't even figured out how to communicate with other species on our own planet. Unless we are relying on "them" to be vastly smarter than us, so they can figure out how to communicate with us.

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[–] Garbageland 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

It makes me think of the old sci fi trope of the aliens wanting to come to earth because they need our natural resources and they will destroy humanity in the process.

Oh and also the cliché twist of us being the aliens in the scenario.

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[–] pilgrimboy14 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Most of us are over it way more than the media and those who profit off of the divisions want us to believe.

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[–] AustNerevar 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I look at it as less of "Let's find a new home" and more as a "Let's find multiple homes". If we're to survive as a species then we need to make it possible so that one stray asteroid won't totally wipe us out. We just need to spread out around the galaxy a bit.

Can you imagine being part of founding a colony on another planet? Like, say that you are guaranteed that you won't die and the colony won't fail...and you get to go off, start your own little colonial government with friends and family. I know that this is all unfeasible for more reasons than just space travel, but just fantasize about it being reality.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] HowSoonWasThen 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

When I was born we didn't even know other planets existed. Now we're finding tiny specks thousands of light years away. What a time to be alive!

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[–] K3fka 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

When I was born we didn't even know other planets existed.

How old are you, exactly??

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[–] HowSoonWasThen 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

As old as time, true as it can be.

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[–] goat_boat 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago  (edited ago)

First exoplanet was (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/51_Pegasi_b)[confirmed in 1992]. So yea, we went from no exoplanets to over 4,696 since 1992. It truly has been amaxingly exciting to watch the progress.

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[–] RR5td5 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

i guess 2000 or 3000 years :/

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[–] blackhawks-fan 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

So I guess the saying "Old as dirt" doesn't come anywhere close to describing your age.

http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question16.html

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[–] Kimmybjonsson 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Some good reading on the subject.

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[–] umpaloompa 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Good link, thanks for the post.

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[–] Kimmybjonsson 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

You're welcome.

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