Will We Ever Visit Other Stars?

Will We Ever Visit Other Stars?

Hey, Vsauce. Michael here. I’ve been watching
Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover lately. It’s great, it was created by Pendleton Ward,
and in the show teenagers zip around the universe visiting star systems and planets and here
is my question: When will we do the same? Us humans, in real life. I mean, we’ve managed to put people on the
Moon, and land robots on asteroids, and Mars, and even Titan, a moon of Saturn. Interplanetary travel is scary cool.
But will we ever travel interstellarly? Certainly it will happen, right? I mean, Voyager 1 is
expected to reach interstellar space sometime this year, or maybe in the next year or two.
And it was launched way back in 1977. So, shows like Bravest Warriors are pretty much
just a glimpse of our future, maybe even one within our lifetimes. Right? Well, we’re going to need a DONG for this one. Something you can Do Online Now Guys. The Hayden Planetarium’s digital universe
allows you to explore a 3-dimensional map of our Milky Way. Now, there are about 81
visible stars within just 20 lightyears of our own Sun. The nearest is Proximus Centauri,
which is only 4.3 lightyears away. Getting there? Piece of cake. Piece of difficult
cake, because a lightyear is an incredibly long distance. It’s the distance that light
in a vacuum will travel in an entire year. And in just one second light can travel
so far as to circle the entire Equator of Earth…7 times. Now, a fast bullet can travel at about 1,500 m/s.
And Voyager 1 is traveling at about 17,000 m/s, relative to the Sun. Also relative to
the Sun, our Earth is orbiting at a speed of 29,800 m/s – that’s pretty fast.
But the fastest man-made object ever was the Helios 2 Solar Probe,
which traveled at a maximum speed of 70,220 m/s. Impressive, right? Well, even at that speed,
the fastest speed ever reached by any man made object, crossing this little ol’ gap
and reaching Proximus Centauri would take 19,000 years. But technology in the future is bound to be
improved, along with the maximum speeds we are able to obtain. Even using what we know
now, a solar sail could easily provide the acceleration needed to reach near-lightspeed speeds.
And our current understanding of physics theoretically allows for things like wormholes which, in
theory, could move a spacecraft from one point in space to another faster than light normally could. And who could forget the famous Alcubierre drive?
An idea that fits within most models of our universe, and proposes a way to deliver
a space craft to a distant object faster than light can get there – not by moving the spacecraft,
but, instead, by collapsing and expanding space itself. Things like wormholes and Alcubierre drives
are theoretical, but if they could one day become a reality, how far away might that day be?
It matters. And figuring out exactly when in time we should begin an interstellar
journey is called a Wait Calculation. Leave too soon and before a ship launched today,
full of frozen embryos, ever got to its destination it would be passed by astronauts who left
hundreds, or thousands, of years later, at a point in time when technology was advanced
enough to lap what we have today. Andrew Kennedy calculated that given the
pace of our progress, as far as travel velocity is concerned,
and Earth’s mean annual economic growth, the soonest human civilization might ever
reach Bernard Star, 6 lightyears away, is 1,104 years from today, which isn’t within
any of our lifetimes. It might also be a bit optimistic because it assumes that we not
only solve the problem of speed, but that we also solve problems like “how to survive
interstellar radiation for years?” or “how to avoid collisions with interstellar
material at high speeds?” It also assumes that before we achieve the
technology needed to successfully interstellarly travel, all of human kind isn’t wiped out
by some cataclysmic natural disaster. It may sound unlikely, but we’re not talking about
the near-future, we’re talking about thousands of years from now. Let’s put it this way.
Even given our current, slow means of space travel, it’s estimated that within 5 to 50 million
years, we could theoretically explore and colonize our whole galaxy. That’s a lot of time, though. In fact, statistically
speaking, within the next 500,000 years, it’s very likely that Earth will encounter a meteorite
nearly a kilometer across. Hopefully when that happens we have the prevention abilities
needed to keep ourselves safe. But given all of this information it’s easy to see why
the 2008 Joint Propulsion Conference concluded that it was improbable that humans would ever
explore beyond the solar system. It’s quite depressing to think that scenes
like this one from Shutterstock may be destined to only ever remain that – science fiction. Wait, how quickly is the camera moving in that clip? We’re used to seeing science fiction
scenes like this, but a Nebula tends to be lightyears across, which means that in this
clip we’re traveling at least the speed of light, if not faster.
Would it really look like that? I covered this briefly in my black hole video,
but not completely. If you were to travel at the speed of light, or near the speed of
light, the universe ahead of you wouldn’t look like it usually did. First of all, your
field of view would increase. It would appear as if the universe was receding away from
you as you accelerated. At the same time, all of the light reaching you would be blueshifted
until you were left with this. You may have seen this on Vsauce 2. It’s the cosmic background
radiation blueshifted all-the-way up into the visible range. MIT Game Lab offers a free, downloadable game
that puts you in an environment where the speed of light can be lowered all-the-way
down to typical walking speed. You can experience all of the visual effects I just discussed,
but I wanted to know what it would look like if the speed of light was where it is, and
I took a journey from Earth to the Moon. So, I enlisted my friend Liam from World of
the Orange and New Music to put together a simulation of what it might actually look
like to accelerate to nearly the speed of light and then slow down,
during a trip from Earth to the Moon. Enjoy. Whether or not you should believe that all
the right factors will come together and humans will one day travel that quickly or reach
interstellar destinations largely comes down to whether you want to be an optimist or a
pessimist. But what we’ve accomplished so far is quite amazing considering how weak,
flimsy and vulnerable the human body is in the vacuum of space. Bad Astronomer and SciShow have great videos
discussing this topic. And now, thanks to the brilliant team at Bravest Warriors, I’m
going to go to space. But not while wearing a Vsauce suit, no, no, no, I’ll do it naked.
Whoa. Ok, not that naked. And also maybe some muscles?
Yep, so that’s pretty much what I’d look like. The moment I’m exposed to the vacuum of space
my body would not inflate and explode. Now, the body is a very nicely contained system.
But those parts of me that aren’t well contained…they’ll be the first to go. The air in my lungs and
digestive tract would quickly rush out. Moist, soft tissues would rapidly lose water.
My mouth and lips and eyes would dry out and swell. As water was pulled to the surface
of these things it would vaporize, and the decrease in its pressure would cool my mouth
and eyes to near-freezing. My body would inflate to about twice its normal size as gasses in
my blood came out of solution, slowly evaporating away, cooling the surface of my skin.
Oh, and the blood vessels in my eyes would likely burst, spilling blood into my eyes which,
along with all the other fluid in my eyes, would be rapidly vaporizing on the surface,
freezing and drying them out. Within about 15 seconds I would go unconscious
because oxygen wasn’t reaching my brain. And, as far as I’m concerned, that would be the
end of the entire ordeal. For another 90 seconds or so I would still, technically, be alive,
but I wouldn’t be aware of it or remember any of it. My dead body would remain, internally,
quite warm for a while because in the near vacuum of space there isn’t much matter to
conduct of convect heat away from me. Instead, I would really only lose heat through radiation,
a much less efficient method. It would take hours for me to cool down to the temperature
of space, and by then, I would be nothing but a dried-up piece of slightly bloated and
stretched, dessicated human jerky. If I was exposed to the Sun’s full-on radiation,
not filtered by the usual atmosphere of Earth, I would be a grossly sunburnt piece of jerky. In case that makes you hungry, let me give
you some nutritional facts: 200 pounds of human meat, in outer space, would eventually
become about 120 pounds of freeze-dried jerky. And given what would be left of me that would
be edible as a snack, I’d be worth about 115,000 calories. Maybe humans are the only intelligent life
in the universe. But if you believe that intelligent life could have arisen on other planets,
an interesting idea occurs: The Fermi Paradox. Enrico Fermi calculated that given the number
of planets believed to exist in our galaxy, at least some of them must have been habitable
to life as we know it. And, in many cases, millions and millions of years before life
on Earth even existed. So, if interstellar travel, traveling between
stars and different solar systems, really is possible for intelligent life to do, why
have we not been visited by aliens yet? Well, maybe we have been visited. Maybe they’re
here right now and we just can’t perceive them. Or maybe we haven’t been discovered.
Or maybe we are alone. Or maybe we’re just not worth visiting… So, what are you waiting for? Live your life
in a way that makes traveling lightyears just to hang out with you worth it. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “Will We Ever Visit Other Stars?”

  1. 7:51 is that brad 1 on the right? Cuz the dude that Michael was talking about also had woto at the end of his username like brad

  2. Why does light get blue shifted when traveling fast when violet has a shorter wavlength? Is it because the cosmic background radiation is more blue?

  3. I just thought of something scary. What if Voyager 1 makes it out of the Oort Cloud? That will definitely take a long time, but possible.

  4. loved the last sentence tho
    "what are you waiting for? Live your life in a way that makes travelling light years just to hang out with you worth it."

  5. 12:03 Why does noone ever consider the possibility we have to discover aliens? Maybe we're the furthest in technology in our local space sector.

  6. 6:00 improbable we'll explore beyond our solar system, I think they're right too. ADD: & there are no aliens. This show was pointless; fix the sea.

  7. I know I may sound stupid but can anyone prove the space is a vacuum. I never been in the air. I want to see a person go into space without a suit

  8. Answer NO STOP with the wormholes and warp drives, It's all bull. You need infinite power to go light speed. We will never have infinite power.

  9. This is why we need to prioritize protecting the planet and humankind from disaster first. That same speed technology we need in order travel to another solar system should first be used to create a system that can quickly transport to large material and destroy it before it strikes a fatal blow to the Earth.

  10. I Can not tell you no lies, no . No. Nobody leaves THIS place. For some of you have figured this out many of the other things have not yet.

  11. Who also thinks that Michael should stop doing Mindfield, and go back to making actual quality content on YouTube?

    Mindfield just feels really shallow, boring and talks about stuff that most people interested in this kinda stuff already know about.
    With Vsauce, you always had something new that you've never heard about come up in every video.

  12. Interdementional space travel isn't hard. All you need to do is figure out time travel which how hasn't tye human race done that yet it's some of the mosts easiest pieces of math yet! Oh wait you humans made up some sort of stupid math where there's only addition, division, subtraction, and timrs. And don't get me started on how late algebra was figured out

  13. You gotta be kidding me. We are drowning in our own waste and breeding like a cancer. Carcinoma Sapiens is circling the drain. no way in hell we could get the money together to even get to mars.

  14. Space craft launched in 2019 travelling to the nearest star
    Space craft launched in 2619 traveling to the nearest star: on your left

  15. given human rate of technological development, it is absolutely certain humans will visit other stars. The propulsion conference was wrong. They are being closed minded, unable to look into the far future which requires imagination. Apparently those scientists don't possess that. in 1000 years humans will definitely be able to stop comets and meteorites on a collision course with earth-we could probably even do that now. if called upon-we could shoot loads of lasers at it to redirect it or send a nuc to blow it up. so humans will not go extinct. humans will be unbelievably technologically advanced in 1000 years, and in one million years i fully expect humans will be able to do stuff like manipulate higg field to alter mass and allow for a human spacecraft to be massless and be able to manipulate spacetime. I even believe humans will definitely avoid even the heat death of the universe. A highly advanced civilization might be able to break open a closed universe and change the topology of space-time , create its own pocket universe, reverse entropy, change matter into energy, cause particles to vibrate again,

  16. We are the aliens. Each of us distanced from some nodes in the network, never the less the entire graph is connected and expanding in population.

  17. I hope the future generations would watch this video and comment "only 'x' years to go" like we do now until it happens.

  18. Quantum computers will almost be done in a few year from now and we can use a quantum computer to calculate. How to get to senturi the fastest and most efficent

  19. But, if we are moving at the speed of light, wouldn't time stand still? Wouldn't we, like photons, arrive at our destination at the same moment we left? In which case we wouldn't see anything during the travel. It would be over the nano-second it began. For example, if I traveled 20 light years away at the speed of light, I won't have aged at all, but everyone I know back on Earth will have aged 20 years.

    Or am I thinking about it the wrong way?

  20. "Aliens hanging out"

    New guy: you guys, why don't we go to earth and hang out with the humans?

    Everybody Else: they're not worthy

  21. This makes me sad we are just the in between generation we never got to explore earth and will never get to explore space but we get to here about all the cool shit we will never get to experience.

  22. I sent some other intelligent lives to discover you, humans. They came, saw Kardashians and flat earthers and some seriously stupid stuff, they looked back at me like this: 😐😐😐 .They lift off and decide to pretend they didn't discover shit and marked earth as a waste of discovery time and energy for other Intelligent lives.


  23. The interesting part of all of this speculation is that…we are making predictions about how long things will take to be developed based on what we know TODAY. If science makes some catastrophically significant breakthrough in physics or quantum science/science, this all may change…just like things did with the projections of air travel just over a century ago. There were people in those days, science people, who declared outright that flight for humans wasn’t even possible. For some things, we don’t even know what we don’t know…and we won’t know until we look back on it. A device you can carry in your pocket with the amount of power a smartphone has was barely even thought of, realistically, in the late 1980s. They projected discoveries of technology, but within the framework of what we knew then. That’s what makes predictions so limited in scope.

  24. Ok a dislike for not including the first man to EVER leave the earth, Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space !!!

  25. We have species of insects that can't even perceive our existence. What on earth makes us believe that we could even perceive a being or entities beyond our brain's processing powers?

  26. I believe one day we definitely will.
    Even Lord Kelvin once said “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible”
    He was proved wrong, today we have big birds like A380 and 777 dominating the skies. What are the odds that we will achieve something greater than aeronautics?

  27. Or… travelling at FTL speeds really is impossible.

    However, I think we could travel to other planets in a slightly different sense. If we manage to communicate with alien species via something like radio waves, we could conceivably exchange genetic information and have a human "printed" on another planet via a 3D printer. Granted, there are a lot of ethical issues that go into a procedure such as this, such as introduction to foreign microbial life or differences in gravitational force, but it sure would be neat to be able to actually SEND people to other parts of the universe without even having to travel.

  28. Electricity was the big game changer of Humanity. We've only been using it for a little over a Century. There's WAY MORE on our horizon.

  29. Think about early civilizations who can’t imagine an spherical earth nor air trips, now there are 15.000 planes every second on air.
    We are thinking about speed and space as early civilizations thought about earth and planes.

  30. Why the fuck do we always think that aliens are 3x more smarter and technologically advanced than us
    Maybe the closest aliens have the IQ of your neighbors fucking dog

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