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Thoughts: If we make it into space, what will we find?

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AdamPD

Oct-14-2017 5:14 PM

If there's one theme or thought that's been on my mind since watching Alien Covenant, it's what WILL we find out there if we ever leave our solar system?

We are already at the point of possibly being able to send small probes to nearby star systems in decades rather than thousands of years

Now we have the futuristic sounding EM Drive, the reaction/propellentless engine which is still being tested.

It's only a matter of time before we start travelling to other star systems.

But even though we have the technology to see where a planet lies in a star system and if it's in the goldilocks zone, we still don't know what might actually be ON that planet.

After watching Alien Covenant, I often wonder what horrors might lurk on those planets that we can't even imagine.

Viruses, bacteria, microscopic flesh eating monsters, the stuff you see in Davids' drawings.

It's scary really

I grew up with loving Star Trek, but I don't think it will be anything like that in the end, I think it will end up being a cold, deadly place.

And when we do visit these places, I really hope the people who step foot on the planets, wear hazmat/environmental suits lol. :)

10 Responses to Thoughts: If we make it into space, what will we find?

Ati

Oct-14-2017 5:42 PM

Exciting times:

'According to an announcement from the ESO, scientists working at the observatory have witnessed an astronomical phenomenon that has never been seen before. The details of this discovery will be released next week.'

'Moments ago, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced that they made a revolutionary discovery, one that they will be unveiling to the world on Monday (October 16th). According to the media advisory released today by the ESO, scientists have observed an astronomical phenomenon that has never been witnessed before.'

'Beyond that, no information is available regarding this most recent announcement.'

dk

Oct-14-2017 7:39 PM

Stephen Hawking essentially suggested we may not see advanced technolgy and life as many expect since those beings may self destruct with said tech before getting out too far. Not the best summary but it seemed a fairly dim view.

Ingeniero

Oct-14-2017 7:59 PM

I saw that regarding Hawking and he can be a downer in describing our prospects of finding life or life finding us dk.

One thing that stuck out to me in Contact was the poison pill given to astronauts. This was in case they found something we could not imagine or were marooned in a place inconceivable. Pretty grim.

Personally, I don't know. Europa could give us some answers soon. 

joylitt

Oct-14-2017 9:33 PM

I think the possibilities of what we can find can are limitless. And here is one of my main issues with the character of David lies. I would say an A.I. would be this entity with an unlimited lust for knowledge. If it was given the possibility to travel across the universe, it would go on a quest to discover, and maybe find others like him. But no, we know so far what David is up to, a Doctor Moreau working in a cave conducting experiments with his bare hands. How sophisticated, surely worthy of a higher intelligence. Unfortunately, the turn we've seen in "Covenant" was not the product of deep thinking for planning a story arc. It is more a lazy way of creating a villain that would save money for the next movie. 

trokanmariel

Oct-15-2017 6:04 AM

Other planets will feature the equivalent of the White House, YouTube, history books, left-wing and right-wing parties, nightclubs, mansions, post offices, charity shops etc 

Tiwaz

Oct-15-2017 8:38 AM

As far as i know the EM-Drive is highly disputed. Reminds me of the warp drive news or the tunneling experiments, couple of yrs ago. Possible in theory yet impossible to build or use.

As for what we may find out there I think it won't be what the "prophets" predict but rather something in between. Neither really good nor bad. The same goes for AIs. It's always been like that.

Some scientists say "... they will be hostile..." others are like "... they'll help us..." and so on. How can we possibly say what an alien race will be like if we met them? We can't. Our predictions are based on what we are or what we would do, our nature as a species. Our nature in turn is defined by our world, the way we evolved and even the way we reproduce. All things that likely would be quite different when it comes to an alien race. For all we know hominids might not even be the first "sentient" beings on earth given our worlds age of roughly 4 billion years. 

Ps.: 

- Oldest found Hominid ~ 7 million yrs

- Oldest found Homo Sapiens ~ 200k - 300k yrs

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.

hox

Oct-15-2017 11:08 AM

If we visit a planet somewhat similar to Earth, there is a very good chance that you would find life that isn't wildly dissimilar to our own. Scientists have recently done analysis on many unconnected evolutionary lines from all over our planet and there seems to be good evidence that life adapts to form particular niches - and perhaps the number of niches is rather limited.

Of course, there are many other potential habitats completely unlike our own, so you would expect to see some wildly different niches.

One interesting observation is that most biomass on our planet isn't in the soil or atmosphere. It's in the rocks deep beneath our feet. The universe has plenty of rocks.

AdamPD

Oct-15-2017 12:38 PM

@Tiwaz.

 I agree, although there has been more news on the EM Drive of late

http://bigthink.com/robby-berman/is-this-the-secret-behind-the-mysterious-em-drive

Something about pilot wave theory (Beyond my understanding though!)

But the drive does seem to work, whether it works in space though and can be made to provide a lot more thrust remains to be seen.

Wasn't Nasa supposed to be looking into the theories behind the alcubierre drive?

Tiwaz

Oct-15-2017 2:04 PM

AdamPD, problem is that the pilot wave theory (De-Broglie-Bohm-Theory) isn't as established as modern quantum mechanics. Einstein never liked modern QM with its fluctuating states (Einstein: "God doesn't play dice..."), see Schroedinger's Cat . 

From what i gather the De-Broglie-Bohm-Theory provides the same results but without the fluctuating quantum states modern quantum mechanic postulates. 

It seems the problem with the EM-Drive is rather a "fight" between different views than a question of feasibility.

As for the Alcubierre drive, Eagleworks apparently did some testing and created a "micro warp bubble" (duration ~ 20 seconds) wich was said to be fast enough to reach Alpha Centauri in two week. Take that with a grain of salt. ;) However the end results were inconclusive. Another question is how much power does it need? Waaayyy too much id wager. 

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.

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