Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Water Planet

Actually not so much water as you may think.

If all the water in all the oceans and lakes everywhere was gathered into a ball, see what size it would be:

Illustration Credit: Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
 Howard Perlman USGS

Sort of brings home that fact that Earth actually has a very thin film of water that makes up our lakes and oceans.

One overly robust solar storm could blow it all away into space. Or what happened to Mars could happen to us. Mars Once Somewhat Earthlke

Or a hundred other things, equally as fatal.

It's amazing how tenuous the human existence is here on this planet. Countless natural disasters - minute on the true scale of things -  could eliminate the human race forever in a blink of galactic time.

And yet we keep trying to do the job ourselves, as if the universe isn't going to accomplish the task some fine - but final - day.


texlahoma said...

That's amazing, I've never seen or thought of it like that before.

Bob said...


Instead of spending vast fortures on trying to kill each other, we should be building ships to explore planets orbiting the nearer stars, with the untimate goal to colonize other suitable planets.

Right now the human race has all its eggs in one basket... not a good survival strategy at all.

Astrosmith said...

Well, there's a planet around Alpha Centauri B, so there's probably planets around most stars. Plenty of places to colonize, if we can actually get there.

Bob said...

We can get there. That's no longer the issue.

The issue is our priorities. Are a few wars of empire more important than striving to ensure the survival of the only known(so far) intelligent life in the universe?

Is tossing vast amounts of resources and money into trying to save failed races and civilizations more important than an effort to preserve humanity?

What could we have accomplished in space exploration with the 5 trillion this one administration has blown supporting a welfare state which attempts to preserve failed and failing races?

We have the capability to recycle everything on a large enough spcecraft... air, water, waste, everything.

We have Ion and nuclear rocket engines that can boost vessels to incredible speeds over vast distances that do not require mountains of fuel to operate.

Then, there's the hydrogen scoops that will continue fueling those fast moving vessels in deep space.

We can deep freeze all manner of necessary life forms(DNA, sperm, etc.) that will be needed to terraform a new planet... seeds, animals, bugs, bacteria, all those things we need to make a new planet habitable to humans.

So it takes a thousand years. Or two. Or three. Thats better than the potential oblivion we face with a local stellar flareup, or the guaranteed end to us all if we never expand into space.