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Thread: Relativistic Kill Vehicles and the Fermi Paradox

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  1. #14
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    Red drawfs tend to have fluctuations in their output that cause issues for a potentially habitable planet. Intense radiation from a star can basically blast the atmosphere off a planet. It is suspected that this is what happened to mars, and that the earths magnetic field (gifted to us by the metallic core) is what has allowed the earth to retain atmosphere for this long. It's likely that a magnetic field is a precursor to an environment stable enough to develop life.
    TRAPPIST-1, which lies 40 ly from Earth, is an interesting system. Even if there were no life possible there, the views would be spectacular with so many Earth and near-Earth sized planets in such tightly packed orbits. Trappist-1c is about 50% further from d than Earth is from the Moon. d is 3 Earth-Moon distances from c, likewise from e to d, there are four Earth-Moon distances between e and f, and f and g.

    Getting back to the original topic, it seems to me most any ship capable of a trip duration that we would consider survivable time frame would basically be a weapon. Even accelerating a modest mass, say 1000-3000 tons, at 0.01g consistently would add about 1%c per year and give you impact measured in gigatons at the arrival point in only a half dozen light years. A probe specifically designed to gravity assist rather than slow down so as to investigate multiple star systems would be indistinguishable from a weapon designed to devastate a biosphere.
    Assuming 0.06c and a mass of 3000 tons, that's 105 gigatons.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Apr 19, at 17:41.
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