Sunday, May 31, 2009

Don't Go There

Only 20 light years from here is a small star with a large Jupiter sized planet, and maybe an earth-like planet also orbiting around it.

Don't go there.

Why not, when we absolutely must go somewhere?

Because that star is too close to a phase, or has already gone through a phase, which our Sun will go through sometime in the future:
... more than seven out of 10 stars are small like this one, this could mean planets are more common than we thought ...

The planet's star, called VB 10, is tiny. It is what's known as an M-dwarf and is only one-twelfth the mass of our sun, just barely big enough to fuse atoms at its core and shine with starlight.
(Space). There is a phase when a star becomes very small, which stars everywhere evidently go through sometime during their existence.

A phase during which our Sun will destroy the earth sometime before it becomes comparatively small during its process of stellar evolution.

We don't have enough time to go to those types of stars, even though there is an abundance of them.

We don't have enough time to learn to live in peace on this planet and develop the kind of travel in space that will be required.

We need a longer lasting future home world.

UPDATE: One reader from Dubuque, Iowa did not understand the sequencing the Sun will go through, confusing the destructive phases involved.

Full understanding requires contemplation of the Sun's expansion period, when it will become as large as the current orbit of Mars, as well as its contraction period, where it will shrink back down to a dwarf sized star. (The phase the dwarf star mentioned in the original text of the post is now in.)

Those who took the time to read the links in the post above will have understood that as being the reason not to go there. (Slacker students are the most vocal sometimes, and the one from Dubuque, Iowa who did not get it complained.)

Anyway, the second thing the slacker did not understand is that the time sequence graphic of the Sun, shown in the link in this update, has now become vague due to recent discoveries.

A new discovery has challenged our stellar life-cycle sequencing in a manner that indicates we no longer know how much time there is, in the sense that the Sun could enter latter phases billions of years before previously thought possible.

Thus, we must add more sense of urgency, as the original text in this post pointed out, to the concept of finding a new home world, even as we learn to properly care for this one.

The time available was once considered to be very liberal, but now we know the Sun could go into the destructive phase billions of years "early".

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