A controversial blog full of science fiction & music.
With questions to inspire ideas about life and survival beyond the boundaries of our solar system.
last update: 19.12.2020
written & composed by ELAR
i. Why MMDC?
It all started while I was reading a book about the Cosmos and black holes written by Dr. Stephen Hawking. I find it fascinating not only to think about how huge and strange the Universe is, but the incredible speed that celestial bodies, including our solar system, travel at.* While reading, I stumbled upon a theory. According to Dr. Hawking, by year 2600 A.D life needs to find an alternative planet to be hosted at. Humans, and the whole system of evolution faces mass-extinction threats including, asteroid collision, global warming, nuclear wars, lack of resources, and the list goes on.
In short, leaving Earth is critical for assuring the survival of life as we know it. So year 2600 A.D (MMDC) became an inspiring topic for me.
* Orbital speed of the Earth - 110,000 km/hr
Speed of the Sun - 828,000 km/hr
Speed of the Milky Way - 2,100,000 km/hr
Speed of Light - 1,080,000,000 km/hr
View of the Milky Way (background) our Sun star, the moon and the Earth
iii. The role of humans in evolution
Humans are the most intelligent specie on Earth capable of developing breakthrough technologies. However, we also hold the highest responsibility for maintaining life in our planet. Our role as a specie, is critical for bringing life to other parts of this Universe. Humans are also fuelled by two general intentions. When acting like individuals, separate from other living organisms, the idea of separation is reinforced and the "self" becomes the center of importance. When the Human realises it is just a small, yet important part, of IT all, then the idea of a unified collective intelligence is chosen.
But what does this serve the purpose of bringing life to other places? The extreme conditions the human body faces during interplanetary travel, some of which I I briefly discussed before, makes this trip practically impossible to imagine today. However, when we think with the mind of the collective human, we understand that it is not us, our species that needs to get to that planet. It is the seed of our evolution. The building blocks of what made us who we are. Our ancestors and our future, our mechanism of survival. Life as we know it.
Picture of an amorphous crystalline rock, representing an idea of how the grain of evolution could be.
v. Habitable exoplanetary targets
There are so many stars in the sky with countless amounts of planets within their system. Sometimes stars come in groups of two, four, twins, etc. Could you imaging living in a planet with multiple suns?
An exolanet is defined as a planet outside the solar system. Thanks to the innovative Kepler Telescope launched in 2009, humans have identified so far a total of 4300 exoplanets out of which 24 are super habitable planets. Superhabitable refers to conditions that are better for sustaining life than Earth. Such conditions include, overall temperature, distance to the star, size of the planet, potential sources of water and oxygen, among others.
List of nearest exoplanets in ordered in relative distance from Earth (light year, ly) and respective estimated surface temperature.
Proxima Centauri b ~ 4.2 ly , -39 ºC
Gliese 832 c ~ 16.16 ly, -22 ºC
Gliese 667cc ~ 23.12 ly, 29 ºC
Picture of a rocket launch, representing the introduction of MMDC.
vii. Pollinating the Milky Way
The process of pollination is understood as the transfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma 'female' part of a flower. If this process occurs in the same flower, it is refered to as self-pollination and if the pollen gran is transfered to another flower this is refered to as cross-pollination. The pollinator, are often living organisms that help this transfer (e.g. bees), however, non-living conditions can also play the same role (e.g. wind).
Picture of optic fibres giving an artistic depiction of how the millions of grains would be propelled to the neighbouring stars.
viii. The exoplanet with three suns
One of the closest potential targets to fertilize is located approximately 23.62 light years from Earth is the triple star system Gliese 667 C in the constellation Scorpius. Its main star is an M-type, red Dwarf star, smaller and younger than our sun and it is called, Gliese 667 C. This star is accompanied by a binary star system named Gliese 667 A and Gliese 667 B. The system contains an estimated number of 2 potential habitable planets name, Gliese 667 Cb and Gliese 667 Cc. Due to its size and orbit around the red Dwarf, Gliese 667Cc is considered to be super-Earth (larger than the Earth but smaller than Neptune). Considering these facts, the sky in this exoplanet is litten by three suns.
Second Part - MMDC
Have a listen to the second part of this story. Listen how the intensity develops from the beginning as the rocket is launched, then when it reaches empty space, disassembles and then how the particles are travelling through space until reaching Gliese 667 C system. The grain burns through the atmosphere of Gliese 667 Cc and becomes porous, following a rough landing on the surface of the planet.
Sketch of Dr. Stephen Hawking (1942-2018), Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
ii. Challenges of leaving our home planet
For most living species, space is a huge peril and a hostile environment to be in. So, the idea of leaving Earth as Humans is quite frightening. For a moment, consider the countless perfect balance of physical, chemical and environmental phenomena that make us so dependent on this planet. In space, the human body faces constant difficulty at maintaining normal blood circulation, muscle strength and bone structure. Even over short travel lengths and time periods, astronauts have difficulty adapting to space, and re-adapting to the Earth's gravitational pull once they make it back. Valery Polyakov broke the record for spending the longest time in space, 438 days. However, up to this day, we are still unsure how long exposure to no-gravity environment truly affects the body, and most importantly, the psyche.
Considering that the shortest trip to our neighbouring planet, Mars, could take up to 8 months, it seems impossible to imagine a flight that could the approximately 6000 years to reach a nearby habitable exoplanet.
Illustration of the fictional human body adapted to 6000 years in space.
First Part - The Collective
Before we move on with the discussion, have a listen to the first part of this story. Listen how the intensity develops and consider the two intentions we discussed before.
iv. The grain of evolution
It is difficult to imagine the exact components and materials that are needed to generate the vehicle that can travel and germinate in other parts of the galaxy. Some of the requirements include high resistance to gamma radiation, extreme cold and hot temperatures, impact, among others characteristics. It should travel as fast as possible (ideally between 0.5–0.2 the speed of light.**
We know from Earth's surface and asteroids that solidified matter (e.g. rocks & crystals) can resist many of the factors previously stated. The building blocks of life (e.g. organic carbon rich molecules, water and other inorganic sources) can be crystallized effectively on Earth with some catalyst (e.g. heat, photo) and prepared as a vehicle to send to the respective targets.
** the fastest object send from space, Voyager 1, reached a maximum velocity of 1/600 the speed of light. It will take approximately 80,000 years to reach the nearest star, Proxima Centauri.
Artistic depiction of an imaginary exoplanet.
vi. The year of the launch
In Year 2600 A.D (MMDC) the rocket is finally launched, carrying the seed of evolution. The launch is described in the introduction of the second theme of the short album (MMDC). The launch represents a milestone achievement of ground-breaking technology and civil organisation, however, it takes away the core of life leaving behind a deep state of longing and melancholy. For life to propagate in all directions of the nearby stars, it ceases to exist in the World that it leaves behind.
The rocket crosses the atmosphere and disassembles into two parts. One part carries the seed. The other part carries a satelite telescope. Once in the outer boundaries of the Kupler's Belt, it reaches halts at a strategic point where the ignition begins.
Picture of the anther of a flower full of pollen, ready to be transfered.
Now, let's assume that the Milky Way like a big Park full of different flowers. The goal is to bring to transport our grain everywhere possible to increase the chance to fertilise life in other planets. The grain then is propelled into million particles with a gigantic explosion. The amount of energy generated and the lack of friction in vacuum, accelerates these particles to an optimal speed for reaching neighbouring stars. With the adequate propulsion, the particles could reach an exo-planet within 50 Earth-years and emit signals for tracking with the Satelite.
Artistic depiction of the Gliese 667 C system (made by ELAR). In the center you can see the exoplanet GLiese 667 Cc. In the middle right, the red Dwarf Gliese 667 Con the horizon of the exoplanet. And in the top right corner, the two binary stars Gliese 667 A & B.
ix. Fertilising the new home
Once the grain is on the soil and ready to undergo an photo-electro fertilisation a new character comes into play, the exo-planet. At this point, most of the ethical questions are asked.
What if life was already there? Or worse, what if the after the germination process, the balance of life that was already there is destroyed? Are we really entitled to take such an invasive chance?
Picture of a storm representing the decisive moment before fertilisation.
It is difficult address these points. But similar to the pollination process that occurs on Earth, the flowers just give hoping that it would eventually germinate. Awaiting no response. Only the fact that the process keeps on going seems to be the only reason why it is regarded as something natural, and beautiful.
The whole purpose of building such a grain was to give the planet the possibility of generating life that would adapt to the conditions of the planet, not changing the planet with respect to the conditions that life needs to have to exist. The grain, represents a benign possibility that can undergo two processes, destruction or fertilisation. The planet is the one that makes the decision.
Picture of a blossoming flower representing the survival of life in Gliese 667 Cc and the new begining.
Third Part - Rain of Forgiveness
Have a listen to the third part of the story. When the planet feels the presence of an alien grain, it reflects on the posibilities ahead. It enters into a symbosis with the grain and then the thunders occurs. The decision to allow the grain to germinate. The rain is a metafor for washing away all previous connections to a past that is long forgoten and forgiven. It is a new bening for both organisms, with the potential to allow life to blossom.
The story continues...
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in admiration to Stephen Hawking
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