NightScapes: Chasing the Light across the night sky. Exploring the techniques of capturing one of Natures most exciting photographic opportunities. We'll look at still photography, deepsky photography, and time lapse photography. We'll talk about navigating across the Constellations to identify what we discover. We will keep it as simple as possible and try to have some fun along the way as we explore techniques and contraptions, capturing and processing, posting and sharing, and maybe throw in a workshop or two. Join me as I set sail across the ocean of the's gonna be fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Something to think about

I get the biggest kick out of all the UFO theory/conspiracy types out there. According to most of them
we've been visited by aliens numerous times who have done just about everything from building the pyramids to changing our history, and probably inventing ice cream. Just for arguments sake, lets assume there really is some form of other human-like beings out there. What is the possiblity that our tiny little dot of a planet lost in the vastness of this incredibly massive universe could ever be visited, much less found.

The operative words here are incredibly massive. Distances from point A to point B are so astronomical as to boggle even the most ardent of thinkers. Let's explore this idea for a moment.

So far, the fastest spacecraft we have ever sent into space is one of the Voyager probes launched decades ago. One of those probes has, by being sling shot around several planets, accelerated to something in the neighborhood of 70,000 mph. Now that's pretty fast. It only takes about 25,000 mph to escape the earths gravitational pull.

Okay, now think about this. In those decades since it was launched, it has just now...just now, reached the outer edges of our Solar System...a few billion or so miles out there. The next nearest star to us, not our sun, sits about 4.3 light years away. How far is a light year? Well light travels at 186,000 miles per second and a light year is how far a beam of light will travel in one year. At 186,000 miles per second, that is somewhere in the neighborhood of 586,569,000,000 miles. Multiply that times 4.3 and you get 25,633,091,520,000 miles just to the next nearest star to us...Astronomically speaking, that is like driving to the corner mom and pop store for a gallon of milk.

Now think about this. If we could accelerate a man-carrying spacecraft to 100,000 miles per hour...faster than even the Voyager probe, how long do you think it would take to get to that nearest star? That's about 28 miles per second...a lot slower than the speed of light. Give up? Well it would take about 32.7 billion years to get there. I don't know, but I think the warranty on that spacecraft would run out way before then. Factor in that most everything out there is thousands and millions of light years away, well, that's a far piece to travel. The Milky Way Galaxy...our neighborhood is 100,000 light years across.

So...for all you UFO Alien visitation types out there, the likelihood that an alien civilization could ever find us and swing by on their summer vacation, much less to stir up trouble during their visit doesn't sound so practical. And, forget about the idea that they could be way more advanced than we are and could possibly have figured out how to travel at the speed of light. It can't be done. There is this little annoying law of physics that says the faster you go, the heavier you become, so it requires more and more energy to continue to accelerate. So much extra, that by the time you accelerated to light speed, it would require an infinate amount of energy...and that is a show stopper.

There may be UFO's out there...more than likely though they are made right here by us.

Something to think about.


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