Space Travel?

Image result for millennium falcon jump to lightspeed
Image source here

Jumping into hyperspace to make a lightspeed escape is typically something normally associated with the Millennium Falcon’s capabilities. Our technology, sad to say, is far from the point to where we could safely travel at such speeds. Therefore, even though there are plenty potential hotspots for investigation for life, civilized or microbial, habitable conditions, or ancient records of such…..or all of the above, sending man out to explore the unknown to an appreciable distance beyond our home is…complicated, to say the least. Honestly, the relative difference in time frame was a confusing point in space travel for me in the Star Wars universe, and while we can write it off in fiction, real-world applications aren’t as privy to poetic license.

The classic textbook example is that if you’re on a X-lightyear trip to a galaxy far, far away, a drastically higher number of years would occur on Earth relative to the ship’s crew. The difference in “time” passed poses a variety of societal challenges; even if we were to establish a base and form communication, to what end is it valuable if friends and family could even be dead in what you consider to be a trip of a few years? I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a right answer.

The Dawn Mission!

As I was reading through Chapter 12 I came across text on the Dawn Mission and my curiosity led me to searching for more! For something I hadn’t heard of before, its profound contributions and interesting factoids are beyond astonishing!

Sourced from the NASA website

I am a huge – and I mean HUGE – Star Wars fanatic, and to learn that the TIE fighter from the original trilogy is even remotely related to real science is news to me. TIE stands for twin ion engine, a factoid that I’m ashamed to admit is news to me. And what’s cooler is that the Dawn spacecraft uses ion engines and is apparently the only spacecraft to orbit two “deep-space destinations.” The accomplishments of Dawn are just as impressive as they are interesting; from finding organics on Ceres to revamping or reaffirming perspectives on solar system formation, and world diversity and geography! Ceres could be geologically active, dwarfs could have (or have had) oceans, the list goes on!

I encourage anyone to take a look at Nasa’s website on it, which is hyperlinked in the above image’s caption!

Jovian Planets

Reprocessed view by Bjorn Jonsson of the Great Red Spot taken by Voyager 1 in 1979 reveals an incredible wealth of detail.
Image source and additional information here

Jovian planets always interested me. The term “Jovian” is naturally everyone’s first guess – derived from the Latin root, Iovis, or Jovis. It’s a 3rd declension, genitive singular noun, so any classics nerds should know that it very specifically translates to OF Jupiter.

I don’t know, I just find it interesting that an entire class of planets was named after one. Speaking of that one, Jupiter in particular has always been of interest. It’s the giant of our system…a stormy, gaseous planet. There’s so much more though. The violent, 300mph winds, raging storms visible as a large spot lasting for centuries, and extremely powerful lightning…There’s so much exciting weather to explore with Jupiter!

One more calming phenomenon I find is the aurora, which we know on Earth to be a beautiful luminescence near our pole. Well, sure enough, Jupiter has auroras. Kind of makes sense, but we normally wouldn’t associate such a pretty picture with a planet that tends to have key word searches like storms and violent. They occur at both poles on Jupiter and are constantly occurring!