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What planet/moon would you most like to explore?

  1. Jul 5, 2004 #1
    These questions just popped into my mind and I was wonder what celestial objects are your favorates. So here are the questions:

    1. If you could visit any planet, moon or asteriod in our solar system which would it be?

    2. If you could visit any star system which would it be?

    3. If you could go to any place in the universe which it be?

    My answers:

    1. Io, because its all firey and chaotic.
    2. Alpha Centari, just to see whats up with are neibor.
    3. The edge of the universe, just to see what could be so far out there.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2004 #2


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    Io is a good choice for several reasons. I would go along with you
    if invited.
    it is so hot under the surface that sulfur melts and boils and volcanos blow out thru the surface, so that is interesting.
    I assume that the people taking us there will provide protective outfits and shelter from the radiation (it is so near jupiter there must be serious radiation analogous to Van Allen radiation belts---jupiter' strong magnetic field)

    I think Io is a good choice for a reason you didnt mention. the view of Jupiter must be spectacular. It is so close that Jupiter must fill a rather wide angle of sky.

    From earth the full moon is only around one half of a degree of angle wide.

    But how many degrees wide is jupiter seen from io. Excuse me I have to go work this out.
  4. Jul 5, 2004 #3


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    it seems from my handbook that Io is only about 3 jupiter diameters away from jupiter----or 2.96 but this is an old handbook so not to take the precision too seriously.

    I get that jupiter is some 19, let us say 20 degrees, wide when seen from Io. Perhaps you will check this.

    that is an impressive thing to have in the sky (forty times wider than the full moon)

    and jupiter is the most gorgeous thing in the solar system, aside from the earth itself

    and it would, like, be going thru phases: new jupiter, crescent jupiter, half jupiter, gibbous jupiter, full jupiter

    BTW just to the left of Orion (If I Remember Correctly, abbr. IIRC) there is a star that has a planet which is estimated to be perhaps twice the mass of jupiter (at least) and that has an earthlike orbit. It is a giant planet in roughly circular orbit around its star
    at roughly the distance we are from the sun

    and the star is about the same size and brightness as the sun

    so if this twice-jupiter-size planet has moons then they are probably an earthlike temperature
    I have occasionally wondered if it does have moons and whether one or two of them might be good and massive so that they might have held onto atmosphere----and I wonder how things are there and if, say,
    algae has evolved.

    I remember seeing this planet in the catalog of extrasolar planets that have been discovered around sun-like stars. I was struck by it having a circular orbit approximately at earth distance from the star. I will get you the number if you want.


    about anywhere in the universe----I suppose you mean at the present moment (no time travel)

    I would choose Andromeda because it appears that the MilkyWay has not been taken over yet by an intelligent species but maybe Andromeda has.

    You know the reasoning behind Fermi's question "where are they" which is that if any intelligent species got started colonizing they would take over a galaxy by exponential growth in a reasonably short time even if they could move only at one percent of the speed of light.

    so since we have no clear evidence of this happening in Milky, there is a good probability that it hasnt happened----an unexplained scarcity of colonizing intelligent species.

    so I would choose to go to some likely region of Andromeda with plenty of metal-rich secondgeneration stars, just to check it out and see if there are signs of colonization having happened there. You never know, even if it hasnt happened in Milky it might have happend there or in some other galaxy
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2004
  5. Jul 5, 2004 #4
    Yeah Io is great not just from a geological stand point but also meteorlogical seeing how you can monitor Jupiter's storms from Io. When I was really young I wanted to study rocks. I remember dragging my mom out and spending all my allowence on cystals and fossils. After that I forgot about rocks and started wanting to be a weatherman, I'd spend hours just watching the weather channel. One of my favorite things was tracking hurricanes. Then I started to drift into astronomy and quantum physics to where I am now.

    As for IIRC, that would also be pretty neat. Examaining massive planets would help explain a lot about star formation. Don't you need about 10x the mass of Jupiter to start getting brown dwarfs? I'll have to look that up.

    About earth-like planets, I dought we would find many (if any). If you really see how special Earth is, take for example are huge moon. Cause by a freak collison with a mars-sized object at just the right angle to create a large moon. Are large moon takes a lot of big hits for us (take a look at its backside) and it helps stabilize Earth's tilt so seasons aren't a super extreme shift from hot to cold. Another is the fact that the solar system is in such a calm region of space. We aren't in a too dense region of the galaxy where stars are close together and therefore disrupt planatary orbits with a passing star's gravitational field. One other is the devistating effects of supernovae. Large supernovea can literally steralize large portions of galaxies with blasts of radiation. One more thing is that a system should have a Jupiter sized planet to suck up lots asteriods and comets that could it other planets.

    If you ask me life is going to be rare, esspecially intellegent life which very well might not even exist beyond Earth. Look up "Rare Earth Hypothesis" it explains some good points on why life could be very scarce.
  6. Jul 5, 2004 #5


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    Neat choices above.

    I'll put in a good word for Miranda out at Uranus. It has a scarp (maybe not the right geological term) that looks outrageously tall in photos I once saw. I can imagine standing on the high edge, looking down, way down, at the lower plain.
  7. Jul 6, 2004 #6
    Well, i don't believe there is realy any place else in the solar system whihc can sustain life. But i believe that it would be interesting to visit Jupiters Europa, or even Saturns Titan. These are the two where scientists believe there might be oceans of water under frozen covers.
    As for any star system, i would really facy a ride on a star system which is being swallowed by a black hole, it would offer the thrill that no roller-coaster can deliver (hehe)..
    And finaly, any place in the universe which i would like to visit would be loopholes, which would in fact take a person from one universe to another, or might take a person back in time, since i personaly believe one cannot travel "forward" in time.
  8. Jul 6, 2004 #7
    So you don't believe in relativity?
  9. Jul 7, 2004 #8
    Well.. I Belive In Relativity, But I Believe Something That Hasn't Hapuned In The Present, Cannot Hapun In The Future. I Believe Everything Is The Result Of A Chain Reaction, And You Cannot Skip Any Parts And Go To The One After. Nothing Is Predestined, Nothing "makes-us" Do Things, We Do Them Because We Can, And Is Free Will.
  10. Jul 7, 2004 #9

    (1) Sedna (a quick stop-off via the Earth's Moon).
    (2) Pleiades and then Sirius A, B & C.
    (3) "The other side" of a Wormhole.
  11. Jul 9, 2004 #10
    1 - Europa, in a heartbeat. A great view of Jupiter and the rest of its moon system, and miles upon miles of ice.

    2 - I'd like to see a globular cluster from the inside. Millions of stars all within 10pc or so. The sky would be filled with brilliant points of light.

    3 - Anywhere in the universe? I'd like to see a quasar up close, though that may involve some weird time paradoxes. ;p
  12. Jul 9, 2004 #11
    yeah, definitely Europa (to look for the monolith)
    then Io

    then to the center of the galaxy, beyond The Great Barrier
    (is there such a thing? like in Star Trek?) :shy:
  13. Jul 9, 2004 #12


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    I understand all three desiderata
    thought of inside globular cluster myself
    but didnt mention it
    Are there no contemporary quasars, or maybe AGN (toned down quasar)
    still living? maybe i do not understand the possible paradox
  14. Jul 9, 2004 #13
    Io or possibly planet x if it exists

    Abell 2029 just because of the sheer size of it!

    I'd like to visit a nebula just to see the process of making stars or a parallel universe if that counts - with parallels you can travel in time technically the only problem is you'd have to trave through a few million universes to get anywhere more than a minute a go if I understand the concept well enough which I don't
  15. Jul 9, 2004 #14
    ok, this has nothing to do with this thread so sorry:

    but you say that (as I believe) that everything is a big chain reaction
    something can't happen without another thing causing it to happen (unless you listen to a QM guy)

    to me, that means that EVERYTHING is pre-destined
    whatever has happened would have always happened
    whatever will happen will always have happened, no deviation
    the belief in free will is another debate entirely, though
    i, personally, do not believe it really exists

    to me, the last half of your statement contradicts the first
  16. Jul 13, 2004 #15
    1. If you could visit any planet, moon or asteriod in our solar system which would it be?
    Io, I would love to see all that activity with Jupiter as a backdrop.

    2. If you could visit any star system which would it be?
    I think I would choose Alpa Centuari, just to see what our solar system would look like from their vantage point.

    3. If you could go to any place in the universe which it be?
    I would like to vist one of the Magellanic Clouds. I would like to see the sky dominated by the Milky Way at night.

  17. Jul 13, 2004 #16

    --- what i meant was that a chain reaction as in, nothing is determined beforehand (predestined). The chain reaction which i was talking about was that whatever you do today, will effect in the future, not that there is a chain there already, but as we go through the present, the chain is being made, it is not already there (therefore, canceling out predestiny).. i was replying to a the question, as to why i believe we cant travel into the future. so, lets say, i want to go 2 years into the future, my point is that you cant. That is because you wouldn't have lived those two years, and in order to actually go through time, you'd have to go through it, in the present (meaning, you cannot travel forward in time).
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