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Runaway Planets Zoom at a Fraction of Light Speed - Comments

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 1 by Alan4discussion

I think it is fortunate that these are widely dispersed and probably quite rare, as meeting up with one would make an asteroid impact look look like a raindrop in an ocean!

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:06:28 UTC | #931015

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 2 by Rawhard Dickins

Could there be planets in a life friendly orbit? In the whole universe? Now that would make interesting real estate!

Has this been covered in science fiction? Often reality is more bizzare than fiction!

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:29:57 UTC | #931021

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

What a way to go! 10 to 30 million miler per hour!

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:30:04 UTC | #931022

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 4 by Steven Mading

What a terrible title! All moving objects move at a fraction of the speed of light, and always have. That's not news. Yeah, the details of the article are better, but whomever came up with the title - shame - it's like putting out a title saying "scientists show that humans are apes" as if that was news.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:48:28 UTC | #931032

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 5 by rod-the-farmer

A one-in-two chances of seeing a transit

???? Surely not. What are the chances that a planet is orbiting a a star with a similar plane of the ecliptic to our own ? How much of an inclination would the planetary orbit have to have, for a transit to be invisible from our perspective ?

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:50:21 UTC | #931033

Katy Cordeth's Avatar Comment 6 by Katy Cordeth

Comment 2 by Rawhard Dickins :

Could there be planets in a life friendly orbit? In the whole universe? Now that would make interesting real estate!

Has this been covered in science fiction? Often reality is more bizzare than fiction!

I can recall seeing a few episodes of a television show called Space:1999 many years ago. The show's premise was that after a nuclear explosion, a sizeable chunk of the moon along with a moonbase and a cast of astronauts was sent hurtling out of the solar system where, week after week, they would encounter aliens from different planets they passed.

I remember thinking at the time that the moonchunk must have been going at a hell of a lick even to get to the nearest solar system so quickly.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:54:32 UTC | #931036

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 7 by Alan4discussion

I recall seeing a few of episodes of a television show called Space:1999 many years ago.

There are many aspects of that TV series which lack scientific credibility, but people still seem to watch the repeats.

Comment 4 by Steven Mading - What a terrible title!

There are articles about these hypervelocity planets with alternative titles.

http://earthsky.org/space/runaway-planets-moving-at-relativistic-speeds-are-possible

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120323-runaway-planets-hyper-speed-loeb-harvard-space-science/

Astronomers find hypervelocity planets hurtling out of our galaxy - Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/321718#ixzz1qS6mENSp

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:17:17 UTC | #931039

Perfect Tommy's Avatar Comment 8 by Perfect Tommy

This story reminds me of all of the great science fiction stories I used to read from Larry Niven. This kind of thing is something he would have in his novels like "A World Out of Time" where people were trying to effect the orbit of Earth to bring it further out because the sun was getting hotter and in the process they "lost" the moon and it left the solar system. Loved those stories, some damn good ideas in them.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:18:53 UTC | #931040

caseyg5's Avatar Comment 9 by caseyg5

I always wondered why a far-side explosion on the moon didn't send it towards the earth in "Space 1999." But then I realized that the film makers were the masters of that 2-D world and could do whatever they wanted. With respect to the 2-D realm, WE are the gods without whom they wouldn't exist!

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:25:24 UTC | #931043

Sigbert's Avatar Comment 10 by Sigbert

Miles per hour in a scientific article. :)

So that is about 13411 km/s or 4.5 percent of light speed. Quite impressive for something as massive as a planet.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:46:43 UTC | #931048

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 11 by potteryshard

So that is about 13411 km/s or 4.5 percent of light speed. Quite impressive for something as massive as a planet.

It could be that the residents planned the gravity whip to acheive escape velocity so that the planet itself can be used as a generation ship. I'm sure they've heard about the Terran religious terror on the way, and want to get out of the galaxy while the getting is good.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 23:21:01 UTC | #931057

mole at the counter's Avatar Comment 12 by mole at the counter

If one was inhabited, it would bring a new meaning to the phrase 'Life in the fast lane' I suppose...!

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 00:06:00 UTC | #931067

Net's Avatar Comment 13 by Net

wow! such speed! 2.4 million and 4.8 million kilometres in modern parlance ...

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 01:14:42 UTC | #931084

AgriculturalAtheist's Avatar Comment 14 by AgriculturalAtheist

First of all, I doubt that any planets that were part of a solar system would stay in their neat orbits as their sun was slungshot through the galaxy at such speeds. As such, these planets would not enjoy the regular warmth of their sun or seasons while on their fast journey.

Second - The weather and climate concerns aside, should anyone be alive on such a planet, I doubt they would survive the slingshot. Would not the planet break apart or at least go through tremendous tidal pressures before its journey, causing catastrophic heating and all manners of tectonic disasters? Followed by the icy chill of space?

Although I have not read any such stories, I imagine that some have pondered using such planets as high-speed space craft, landing on them and going along for the ride (with your own life support). Of course, I don't know how one would even achieve such speeds to "catch up" with a planet like that, or land safely on it (would it be spinning wildly?)

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 03:19:28 UTC | #931103

William T. Dawkins's Avatar Comment 15 by William T. Dawkins

If one of these hypervelocity stars went supernova could we end up with a hypervelocity black hole, a neutron star, or very fast gas?

William

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 07:22:20 UTC | #931120

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 16 by Alan4discussion

Comment 14 by AgriculturalAtheist

You raise various moot points.

Second - The weather and climate concerns aside, should anyone be alive on such a planet, I doubt they would survive the slingshot. Would not the planet break apart or at least go through tremendous tidal pressures before its journey, causing catastrophic heating and all manners of tectonic disasters? Followed by the icy chill of space?

I think the "icy chill" would depend on if it was separated from its star or not, or the eccentricity of its orbit.

Planetary orbits would seem likely to be severely disturbed by the slingshot, but could re-stabilise afterwards if planets remained orbiting a star. Planetary material torn apart could also reform planets in orbit later.

There would also be massive effects if such a hyper-velocity planetary system passed very close to another star, or if hyper-velocity stars or planets collided with objects in another planetary system.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 08:22:19 UTC | #931128

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 17 by SaganTheCat

Has this been covered in science fiction? Often reality is more bizzare than fiction?

i hope not!

this is exactly the information i was looking for to help me with a sci-fi project. i wanted to write about travellers coming a serious distance and visiting earth. partly because i get so annoyed with ufo-spotters insisting there's a big cover up, arguing it's really arrogant to assume there's no other life that i thought in reality, what would it take using known physics? no warp drives or worm-holes or any such lazy star trek plot-fillers and no assumption that any deep-space mission could ever pick a tiny point like earth and guarantee to get there, let alone consider moving on or going home again.

i had settled on the idea of a moon being converted over time into a spacecraft piloted by machines that could outlive biological life and using nuclear power for the innitial nudge along with vast amounts of time and using available forces to sling the craft out of orbit, and then be able to slow it down (that's tricky but i think i have a workable idea)

so thanks for posting this and any physisists who want to help me avoid falling into the standard facepalm traps, please get in touch...

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:09:01 UTC | #931143

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 18 by SaganTheCat

There are many aspects of that TV series which lack scientific credibility, but people still seem to watch the repeats

Guilty

I had one of those Eagle transporter toys as a kid too

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:16:24 UTC | #931145

CEVA34's Avatar Comment 19 by CEVA34

Bob Shaw, whose talks were a popular feature of SF conventions, referred to the show as "Space £19.99", that being the budget for the special effects.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:19:48 UTC | #931146

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 20 by SaganTheCat

Bob Shaw, whose talks were a popular feature of SF conventions, referred to the show as "Space £19.99", that being the budget for the special effects

So Blake's 7 had nothing to do with the size of the crew?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:35:37 UTC | #931149

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 21 by Alan4discussion

Comment 17 by Daniel Clear

Has this been covered in science fiction? Often reality is more bizzare than fiction?

I hope not!

There could be a series of binary planets with one of them slung out at various speeds in various or similar directions during events like these:-

This is a simulation about the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy collision. Will mankind survive this collision? A simulation of the University of Toronto. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJRc37D2ZZY - 54seconds of video

There are of course, smaller satellite galaxies nearer the Milkyway, not to mention the Sun being likely to fry the Earth before this merger happens.

.... but as for SF aliens coming from galaxies elsewhere ..... .... Who knows?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:06:19 UTC | #931155

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 22 by Alan4discussion

Comment 8 by Perfect Tommy

This story reminds me of all of the great science fiction stories I used to read from Larry Niven. This kind of thing is something he would have in his novels like "A World Out of Time" where people were trying to effect the orbit of Earth to bring it further out because the sun was getting hotter and in the process they "lost" the moon and it left the solar system. Loved those stories, some damn good ideas in them.

I'm afraid that's one of those stories (like Space:1999) where the numbers don't add up. If the Moon escaped Earth's gravity it would be unlikely to escape the Solar system.

The biggest danger would be "re-acquiring it" at a later date! (A satellite that size is most unlikely to go into orbit around the Earth, without a collision!) - Sorry about the dream!

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:28:12 UTC | #931159

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 23 by SaganTheCat

Thanks Alan4discussion

yes the sun frying the earth is already my finale so i'm not going to the lengths of galaxy mergers just yet but i love this simultion. so far i've roughly worked out a planet/craft could cross the gulf from andromeda in about 1/4 bn years but need to also consider the relative movements of galaxies and the gravitaitonal pull of the milky way. it's all about the figures at the moment as the point where human radio transmissions could be detected is a major factor.

this has proved a very useful guide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U&feature=related

slowing the craft down is also a serious issue. my current plan is using the tidal forces of the galactic centre to rip the planet apart sending most debris into inter-galactic space, some into the central black hole and a few fragments drifting across the plane. wondering how much velocity could be removed (if any)

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:32:24 UTC | #931160

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 24 by RichardofYork

Doesnt everything move at a fraction of c?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:13:17 UTC | #931164

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 25 by RichardofYork

Blake looked a lot older than 7 didn't he? I'd say at least 40

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:48:24 UTC | #931176

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 26 by Alan4discussion

Comment 23 by Daniel Clear

it's all about the figures at the moment as the point where human radio transmissions could be detected is a major factor.

Are you aware of the implications of PROJECT ICARUS Pathfinder?

The Icarus Pathfinder Probe (1000 AU mission) is to put the probe at various points up to 1000AU from the Sun and to use the Sun's gravitational focus as a lens, with the probe at its focus. This will create the biggest telescope(s) ever! The distance to the focal point will vary according to the radiation being focussed, so the probe will have a selection of spectra as it moves out to 1000AU.

The second purpose of a probe at this point is to act as a relay station with signals focussed and strengthened by the effect of the gravitational focussing. This will vastly increase the range of monitored signals from more distant probes.

Project Icarus is divided into 3 parts "Pathfinder", "Starfinder" and the Icarus/Daedalus starship interstellar probe - Project Icarus: Optimisation of Nuclear Fusion Propulsion for Interstellar Missions",

They plan to start with a VASIMR rocket and go on to develop a fusion drive.

http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/

http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/team_members.php

http://horizonar.co.uk/12401.html

BTW your link@23 does not work.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:57:05 UTC | #931178

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 27 by SaganTheCat

thanks for that, I had planned to use the final fragments of the craft to work as an array of detectors as I imagine the outer sphere of our transmissions would be far to weak for anything smaller than a solar system to reolve. i'll add these links to my file, that's brilliant. don't want to derail the thread so tweet me @DanielClear if you have any more info like this

the link i tried to put is called 'The Known Universe by AMNH' on YouTube. I found the sphere of our transmissions quite humbling in the grand scheme

trying again...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U&feature=related

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:43:06 UTC | #931182

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 28 by Stafford Gordon

Get one of those up your kilt and you'd know it. Bit scary, could take your eye out!

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:12:28 UTC | #931185

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

@21There could be a series of binary planets ... .... ...

Errata:- This is not correct. It should read, "There could be a series of planetary systems of binary stars"......... ...

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:13:27 UTC | #931186

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 30 by Mr DArcy

UNIVERSE ADMIN:

All the above unlikely events have already happened many times in the, to you, "known universe". What the hell do you think we've been doing the last 13.7 billion years?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 19:59:22 UTC | #931217