Zorba the Hutt (zorbathut) wrote,
Zorba the Hutt

Scientists just found a dead star, moving really really fast, and heading right out of our galaxy.

As cool as this is - and it's damn cool - I keep seeing people saying things like "Yeah! Once it gets out there, we can discover what kinds of other things are out there, by watching it curve thanks to gravity!"

But, seriously. That just plain isn't going to happen. Look at the numbers.

It's traveling 1100 kilometers per second. Now, that's damn fast. In fact that's almost 0.37% the speed of light.

It's been traveling for 2.5 million years. They don't say how long it'll take to get out of the galaxy - let's be generous and say it'll only take another million years.

Can *anyone* see a possible future scenario, a million years from now, where:

(1) Humans still exist
(2) Humans still care about astronomy and science
(3) Humans aren't capable of launching their own probes *significantly* faster than 0.37% the speed of light

Seriously. In a million years I'm going to be fucking *embarrassed* if we can't manage 99.99% or so. Wouldn't surprise me at all if we break lightspeed in the next few centuries either.

It's really cool - but it's so slow!
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