Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by -dsr- Post by email@example.com
How far away is the nearest galaxy? Can we reach another galaxy
using present technology?
If you count the Magellanic Clouds as different galaxies, they're
150,000 and 200,000 light years away from the Milky Way.
IIRC, the diameter of the milky way is a few hundred thousand light
years. If we can reach the other edge of our galaxy, we can possibly
reach another galaxy.
Though the journey will be very boring, traversing sparse space. If
we find a way to accelerate close to the speed of light, less time
will pass for the travellers, making the journey more manageable.
What's "we" in this scenario? You do realise that even at the speed
of light, distances like that essentially take long enough for
speciation to happen, right? I mean, 150,000 years is an
inconceivably long span for a generation ship. This isn't just a
"journey" for "travellers", this is the entire lives of many, many,
many generations of people.
Separate issue: how far is either Magellanic Cloud from *us* ? We
are, after all, not the same thing as "the Milky Way". English
Wikipedia sv "Magellanic Clouds" currently says they're 160,000 and
200,000 light-years away from *us*, but notes a study that "suggests
that the leading arm of the Magellanic Clouds is 90,000 away from the
Milky Way, closer than previously thought".
(And killer issue: When will we know enough about the relative
motions of the Clouds to us and to the Milky Way in general to be
able to *aim* this generation ship reliably? English Wikipedia very
strongly suggests one correct answer to that question is "Not yet".)
In a recent thread the question of the earliest generation ship story
came up, and I reported on reading a really weird story, mentioned as
a sort of precursor in the <Encyclopedia>, in which generation
*planets* were used to prosecute a war on a billion-year time scale.
There are reasons that's an idea weird beyond belief.
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com