Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away

  • #1
    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away

    I'd like to present a scenario for you:
    In the case that traveling faster than light or using 'shortcuts' via wormholes or by other means isn't possible, the conclusion must be that whoever is out there and whatever kind of technology they may possess, will be 'grounded' in their own galaxy unless they're up for spending millions of years traveling to even their nearest neighbor, again meaning that each and every galaxy is truly a restricted realm where no leaves and no one enters.

    Example:
    The Milky Way's nearest big neighbor, M31 - aka The Andromeda Galaxy - is 2.6 million Light Years away from us. Meaning that even if one could travel at the Speed of Light, one would have to be on the move for 2.6 million years - and that's just the nearest big neighbor (There are some smaller galaxies closer than Andromeda but Andromeda is a good reference point and people know about it. In either case it's practically 'next door' in relative terms.).

    Being able to do this however means having reached an extremely advanced level of technology - we're talking 300,000 KM/Sec or 1,080,000,000 KM/Hour. So let's ask ourselves how likely it is that there's even ONE of those civilizations for every galaxy out there. Well, who knows. There might be 100 per galaxy or there might be 1 per 100 galaxies. Or none at all. What's likely or not isn't the topic however - the goal is to paint a picture of how it really is if FTL (Faster Than Light) is impossible and 'shortcuts' through time and space just isn't happening for any civilization, no matter how technologically advanced they are.

    One could talk about cryonic hibernation (the freezing of a body to suspend it) for long travels but we're still talking such vast distances that even if a civilization out there did endeavour on such a massive project (to travel millions of Light Years - just to reach their nearest neighbor), they'd still be unable to go very far in relative terms. As in they wouldn't be able to cover say even 0.1% of the total distance between peripherals (if there even are any peripherals - the 'edge' isn't really where we see it but much further out!) in the vast expanse known as the Universe.

    So.. somewhere out there there might be this hyper-advanced civilization who have overcome all the hurdles (surviving all the things that could go wrong over a long period of time basically) of reaching such a point that they are at the very technological limitation (or the intergalactic speed limit, which would be the Speed of Light, if you will. And remember, no 'shortucts' either)..

    .. yet in reality they have to be content with only having the opportunity to explore their own galaxy. Let's say they live in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. 250,000,000,000 stars (some say this number might be 4x higher but that's another story). The Milky Way is roughly 100,000 Light Years in diameter. Traveling from one end of their galaxy to the other would thus require them to be on the move for 100,000 years. Or in case they were only really interested in their local star cluster within their galaxy, they'd still have to travel up to 5,000 years to cover enough ground to even be able to plot out a small circle on their map of their galaxy and say they've explored this part. All this at a speed of over 1 billion KM/hour, the Speed of Light, mind you.

    Estimates are that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe, but this number is probably much higher. Most scientists would probably give you the number 200 billion if asked but if you inquired more thoroughly with those same scientists, they'd easily give you numbers such as 500 billion or even 1,000 billion, it's just hard to say.

    The reason for this is that wherever you are in the universe, you are in the center of the universe. Picture a circle around your location and that is the entire universe. The edges of the circle is 13.7 billion Light Years away. Now let's say someone 5 billlion Light Years away from you does the exact same thing. He too would be at the center of the universe and the edges of his circle would also be 13.7 billion Light Years away and those two circles would overlap each other. This is because the edge is as far away as the light has traveled since the supposed beginning of time and we can not see any further. But meanwhile, the universe have expanded and the edges are actually much further out - and there are galaxies there too that we can't see.

    If you ever laid down on a football field and looked around, you'd see a lot of grass. Some person figured out that there are about half a billion straws of grass on an average football field - multiply by 1,000 and you have 500 billion. 1,000 football fields - if you laid down on the ground and looked around, you'd probably experience it as an endless sea of grass - and each straw of grass on that endless football field would represent a galaxy.

    Check out The Millenium Simulation.Every single dot of light seen in this video is a cluster of galaxies.

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away..

    God bless you.
    Last edited by rebjorn: 3/3/2014 11:18:23 PM
    - I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the earth -
    - - -
  • #2
    I was with you until the last line.
  • #3
    There is so much out there that we will never see, know, or experience.

    Time to go sit outside and stare at the stars again and imagine things.
  • #4
    Bleh, so many premises and assumptions and Star Warsing.
    It reminds me of people who didn´t want to cross the oceans because obviously you will fall down at the end.

    Traveling at the speed of light is such an overused term. These things are theories, they are constructions that help our very pathetic weak little minds to have fun "exploring" and profiling one another. Atoms used to be the smallest things possible. Time used to be a dimension and the theories regarding gravity have been changed thousands of times and still there is no such thing that can even remotely make us humans understand what this thing is supposed to be. Science isn´t made for finding answers, it´s made for asking questions.

    Most importantly: Limitation of human perception! We have only 5 ways to perceive our environment. Every memory, thought or idea we ever had or will ever have has to pass one of the channels. We can not perceive gravity so that's why we have to create mathematical and physical constructions to allow us understand those parts of gravity that are suited for us. It doesn´t mean we have "encoded", "grasped" or "perceived" it because it always is going to be a construction.


    Besides: There´s nothing interesting out there. You might trick yourself into thinking it´s cool to discover new stuff, but i suggest you to just hold on a second and think WHY you think it is "fun" or "interesting" to discover.
    In the end Psychology >>> Physics. "Nietzsche" and "Kant" can answer every question you didn´t even dare asking. Understand "Critique of pure reason" and watch as the universe shrinks down into that 6 feet tall thing that you are.
  • #5
    The awesome thing about knowing those things is that you actually realize how tiny, how insignificant you are and how futile your efforts to survive seem if compared with the entire universe (if there is an end to it...).

    I believe that our species will accomplish great things and discover many misteries about this universe but I also think that we will reach a point when all we'll be able to do is know the theory without being able to go any further on practical terms...

    I also believe there's something after this universe like with many other things. You have the particles that form the particles that form the atoms, those atoms form molecules, those molecules can be proteins and many types of molecules can get together, react, interact to form many structures like cells, cells form tissues, tissues will form muscles, organs and etc, you'll end up with an organism, a living creature...those creatures form populations, species, communities, ecossistems...you live on a planet that has all that complexity within, that is formed matter but not oriented for the biological side. You can also see that the universe is organized, from planets, to solar systems, to galaxies, to galaxies complexes...

    Maybe there are particles that form the most miniscule particle that we know now. Maybe the universe is just part of something bigger and we may never know.

    And there's that phenomenal dilemma: How did the universe start? Was there something that originated it or there was nothing and it just started? But how can you explain that nothing originated something? And if there was something, where did it came from and how did it come to exist? And you would follow a never ending cycle of questions like this because to us anything comes from something else and nothing can't originate anything.
  • #6
    Quote from Melt
    Besides: There´s nothing interesting out there.

    How about a diamond planet? Or the 100,000,000 other things we never would have dreamt of :- )




    Edit: Updated OP for grammar and added a vid.
    - I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the earth -
    - - -
  • #7
    You're missing some Special Relativity Theory there. If you are travelling at the speed of light (which is impossible by normal means, as you stated), the entire universe is a single point. Assuming we can come very close to the speed of light, a trip to a galaxy 100 million light years away could take 5 years (or more, or less, depending on how close you are to the speed of light) according to the point of view of the crew and the spaceship itself. From Earth, it'd take 100 million years (more, since we're not actually at the speed of light), but the ship doesn't have to be built to last that long, nor does the crew.
  • #8
    Just for an idea, for a 100 million light year trip to take 5 years, from the point of view of the crew/ship, you'd have to be travelling at 99.99999999999975% the speed of light, or 299,999.9999999993km/s.
  • #9
    Second wormhole on the left to next galaxy ^^
  • #10
    @Dutlinx: Thanks for that. So I suppose any intergalactic/interstellar civilization would have to be constantly on the move though and not really have a 'home base' - they'd leave their place behind and it'd keep on living its own life and there would be no communication backwards. Best case scenario would be if they were only active in their local star cluster and communication would still take anywhere from years to thousands of years. Radio waves travel at the Speed of Light afaik.
    - I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the earth -
    - - -
  • #11
    Yeah, even if they went fast enough for the journey to be "shorter", they'd still have to say good-bye to everyone on their home planet for good. And to my knowledge, yes, communication (if possible from such long distances) would still take thousands of years.

    It's weird thinking about stuff like this. You go on a 5-year journey, and when you arrive life itself may be long gone from your home planet. Kinda depressing actually.
  • #12
    Quote from rebjorn
    How about a diamond planet? Or the 100,000,000 other things we never would have dreamt of :-)

    Again, i have to wonder. What is so interesting about these? We have plenty of diamonds back on earth. In fact we have so much we don't even know what to do with them so people start "wearing" them!? Can you believe that? Also, these cute pictures and short cinematic you see do NOT match the actual objects in the slightest bit. Most of these things have to be made interesting, people have to put melancholic music following their computer-generated cinematics, because the actual footage is so dull and uninteresting. It IS just another ball floating out there, that doesn't make it any more interesting than the football you played with as a kid. Whenever i hear this generic "the universe is full of interesting things and humanity is going to thrive and blablabla..." all i see is an analogy to the same old promises that every religion gives: "Life is more than what meets the eyes, in the future (once you are dead) everything is going to be superawesome and great, humans are unique and destined."

    Sorry for being so unconstructive but it just bothers me when people are convinced so easily into believing it's interesting "out there". It's not always people being simple minded but at least it can be considered naive.
  • #13
    Melt, the discovery of the diamond planet is more than just a discovery of a diamond planet, it's a realization that there are things out there that one would never have dreamt of and the discussion and future exploration has a lot to do with dreaming doesn't it? And if you're saying dreaming is 'naive' then I suppose no one can stop you from saying such things.
    - I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the earth -
    - - -
  • #14
    We have a large history of unearthly visitors here on earth. All we need is to snag one of these visitors and get them to teach us the technology, without any probing, dissection, war, Area 51 military experiment crap, etc...

    And let Mr. Ventura know about it.

    Though of course, with all the sick fantasies and sick people acting on those fantasies, such as zoophilia and necrophilia. I would be scared to land on a planet with a bunch of freaks. If I was an Extra-Terrestrial, I would wonder what the hell they would do to me if I get caught? I don't want to find out either.

    I bet half the visitors we see are actually tourists coming to see "The Zoo Called Earth."
    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
  • #15
    awesome article....on universe...!!!
  • #16
    How can you have 0 posts???
  • #17
    Quote from Pusguts

    How can you have 0 posts???

    Posts in "Off-Topic" don't count toward your post count.
    ...and if you disagree with me, you're probably <insert random ad hominem attack here>.
  • #18
    Quote from Melt

    Most importantly: Limitation of human perception! We have only 5 ways to perceive our environment. Every memory, thought or idea we ever had or will ever have has to pass one of the channels. We can not perceive gravity so that's why we have to create mathematical and physical constructions to allow us understand those parts of gravity that are suited for us. It doesn´t mean we have "encoded", "grasped" or "perceived" it because it always is going to be a construction.


    Besides: There´s nothing interesting out there. You might trick yourself into thinking it´s cool to discover new stuff, but i suggest you to just hold on a second and think WHY you think it is "fun" or "interesting" to discover.
    In the end Psychology >>> Physics. "Nietzsche" and "Kant" can answer every question you didn´t even dare asking. Understand "Critique of pure reason" and watch as the universe shrinks down into that 6 feet tall thing that you are.


    First paragraph, the only way I can think of that would not be a "construction" of the external world is to be incorperated into everything that would mean you would have to be everything and know everything.

    Second paragraph, yes we may still not have much of a "real" choice but it's only the start and I expect it will increase, if we did not have those systems there would be no us.


    Quote from Lt. Venom

    We have a large history of unearthly visitors here on earth. All we need is to snag one of these visitors and get them to teach us the technology, without any probing, dissection, war, Area 51 military experiment crap, etc...

    And let Mr. Ventura know about it.

    Though of course, with all the sick fantasies and sick people acting on those fantasies, such as zoophilia and necrophilia. I would be scared to land on a planet with a bunch of freaks. If I was an Extra-Terrestrial, I would wonder what the hell they would do to me if I get caught? I don't want to find out either.

    I bet half the visitors we see are actually tourists coming to see "The Zoo Called Earth."

    A possibility but all that so called proof is just us playing power games.


    Otherwise intresting read it would be a shame if it turns out to be true a loanly place. For the last line to be viable again I would need proof.
  • #19
    Giving this one a gentle bump :-)
    - I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the earth -
    - - -
  • #20
    If there are others they would use an einstein rosen bridge, probably by exerting gravity on time.
    Or creating antimatter by bumping up element 115 to 116, creating a black hole right after. If i paid attention anyways.
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