The Christian's Guide to the Universe

Saturn, the planet not the car.
Saturn, the planet not the car.

The Christian's Guide to the Universe

  1. The Creator created creation. [Both true and obvious but there are actually some Christians who do not know this.]
  2. God created the cosmos. The cosmos consists of everything -- heaven, hell, limbo, purgatory, all the universes, the real, the imaginary, everything -- except God.
  3. The cosmos is larger than one universe. Science says this. Logic (see #2) says this. Scripture implies this. However, at present, we the living live in one universe and have not travelled to any other universe in the cosmos, at least not live or sober.
  4. The Bible does not talk about galaxies because there were no telescopes back then. With light pollution, it is even harder to see the nearest galaxies (Magellanic Clouds, Andromeda, etc.) unless you have very good eyesight and are far from city lights. Our Milky Way does not count because we are in the home galaxy.
  5. Stars do not fall. It is a colloquial way of talking about meteors. If a star ever does fall, we're dead.
  6. The Bible is not a science textbook. A science textbook is not the Bible. The Bible is the Bible. A science textbook is a science textbook.
  7. A lot of asteroids have been zipping past the Earth lately. This is God's way of asking: How's that space ark construction going?
  8. My site Green Space was done to inspire Christian ecologists and Christian environmentalists and non-Christians who care to take take lifeless worlds (planets, moons, spherical asteroids) and make them like Earth used to be -- pristine and pure. Garden worlds, Edenic worlds, paradise worlds.
  9. Restoring the Earth so that it once again has clean land, air, and water and terraforming other worlds is not an either/or decision. We should do both.
  10. I once heard an old person say that a total eclipse was an evil omen. Twaddle. An eclipse is just an astronomical event that happens like clockwork. The only time to worry is when the universe does NOT behave according to the mathematical predictions of astronomers. For example, an unexpected black hole showing up in the Solar System, a planet-killer asteroid comes from the direction of the noonday sun, or the sun going nova without warning.
  11. Astrology is pseudo-science and no Christian should have anything to do with this occult nonsense.
  12. Run from those who say space is evil. That is like saying Earth is evil or any other part of God's creation is evil. God created you, the Earth, the Solar System, The Milky Way, and the Universe. It is blasphemy to call the beauty that God created evil. The handiwork of God evil? That's like going to a national park and looking at carnography on your portable movie player. Nature is the cathedral built by God. No wonder the Native Americans looked with pity on the colonists coming from the squalid cities of Europe (at the time) who had to be told the obvious. The Russian Orthodox Church even has a term: Holy Nature.
  13. There are those who say that we should take care of the Earth first. End war, stop pollution, NPG, alleviate poverty, etc. They have a point.
  14. Only a few short years ago, thinkers doubted the existence of planets outside the Solar System. Astronomers have now discovered hundreds of them.
  15. Are there civilizations out there? Humans like to start wars and, most likely, we would lose an interstellar war. We cannot expect any civilization to conveniently be at a 2014 AD level of technology. They might be thousands or millions of years more advanced. We humans use insecticides on ants. In the Bible, only two species are called "a people". Humans and ants. This is sobering.
  16. Hiding and cowering on Earth like cowards will not prevent an invasion if there are any potential invaders.
  17. Moreover, we have public agencies and private industries (fossil fuel & fission energy) that actively fight innovation by buying patents and bankrupting innovators. Ever wonder why you cannot buy a ticket to orbit at a low price? One military person that I cannot identify said that the government has solutions to many problems and it has innovations that would make the Earth a paradise but these innovations have been declared top secret for no good reason.
  18. Christians share with non-Christians a fear of astronomically large numbers. It is quite simple. A million has two sets of triple zeroes. A billion has three sets. A trillion has four sets. A quadrillion has five sets. A quintillion has six sets. And so on. There is no such number as a gajillion or a zillion. Those are said by people too lazy to learn the system of numbers that you just learned. There are also mathematical terms for numbers so large that there is not enough paper or computers to record all the zeroes. Some of these numbers are too large to be applied to the universe.
  19. In the Bible, the English word "heaven" is used to refer to very different things. The sky (atmosphere) is different from the vacuum of space which is different from the city of God. If we throw litter on the the ground, then we are obviously not in heaven. We make of the Earth a heaven or a hell. We don't want to repeat history (genocide) in colonies on other worlds.
  20. America is supposed to be blessed by God but colonists to the "new World" committed genocide against the people who helped them survive their first winter. If Christians are unable to see The Big Picture, then when we head out into space, elder civilizations may enforce good manners.
  21. Some think that by stopping private space exploration and staying put on Earth and wishing real hard and clicking our heels like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, everything will be okay. There's no place like home but will Earth always be home?
  22. One asteroid, one Sun going nova, one invasion, one thermonuclear holocaust, one climate change, one Tribulation, and we might rethink that plan to stay put. It is good to have options.
  23. Is space travel the Rapture?
  24. Will God hear our prayers if we are invaded? Yes, but will that prevent an invasion? Will we be treated the way we have treated others?
  25. Some people think that if they are off-world, that they will miss the Second Coming the way the Jehovah's Witnesses did. In other words, some "Christians" think God will forget them and that God is only God of the Earth.
  26. Your god is too small. My God is Lord of the Cosmos.

Someone actually named this the Rotten Egg Nebula.  Astronomers have an odd sense of humor.
Someone actually named this the Rotten Egg Nebula. Astronomers have an odd sense of humor.

Who this hub is for

This guide is for --

  • Christians interested in space from a Biblical perspective
  • God-fearing souls fearful of going into the heavens when they are sure they will go to hell -- after all Venus has been described as hell, Io a moon of Jupiter has actual fire & brimstone, and black holes sound like The Pit.
  • Christians who think that if they become deep space travelers, they might do that High Flight thing (John Gillespie Magee, Jr.) and touch the face of God.
  • Christians who think that they have to pray on their knees and you can't kneel in zero gravity because there is no up or down.
  • Christians who fear that there will be no one to witness to or evangelize or missionize. They might actually have to just live -- like the Amish.
  • Christians who won't go because there are no churches to attend.
  • Family types afraid that they cannot take their children because Johnny is an idiot who might open an airlock and kill everyone. Forget why Johnny can't read. How about why Johnny can't breathe?
  • Christians interested in space because the air on Earth is unfit to breathe and an artificial atmosphere has got to be better. The kid's asthma might be cured.
  • Christians who want to pioneer a new world just like the Old West pioneers.
  • Christians aware that while we can have a seven day week and a Sunday and sabbath, the length of the day and the length of the year will vary depending on the world. What will that impact?
  • People who want to move their entire religious community out there but want to research the logistics, cost, and what to pack.
  • Christians who are actually well-informed about space but want to gain a fresh perspective.

What this hub is about

This hub is about the physical universe. It is not about heaven. The word heaven is used to mean --

  • sky or atmosphere
  • the stars in the night sky
  • the city of God

A word with multiple meanings is not useful to the present informational guide. We are not simply talking about space (outer space) which is the airless void between worlds with atmospheres. We speak of everything in the physical universe --

  • the Earth and all other planets
  • the Sun (properly called Sol) and all other stars
  • our moon (properly called Luna) and all other moons/natural satellites of planets
  • the asteroids that sweep too close to Earth and the asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt and in the Kuiper Belt
  • the comets we occasionally see as well as the ones we don't see in the Oort Cloud
  • the Solar System and all other stellar systems
  • the Milky Way and all other galaxies
  • the Virgo Supercluster (our home) and all other superclusters

We will not go into discussion of other universes until astronomy starts developing tachyon telescopes to allow us to see what is going on now instead of the fossil light that we are stuck with studying now. The neutrino astronomers, however, have had tantalizing signs that the field of tachyon astronomy might be more than something string theorists feel obliged to swat at its mere mention.


A matter of time

Although we can easily talk science with intelligent Christians, the same cannot be said of our more (ahem) challenged brethren. There exist kindergarten dropouts, people home schooled by illiterates, and the products of Christian academies who think that science in general and evolution in particular is somehow anti-God. Let's make this simple and clear, if you don't believe in evolution, then you are going to hell.


Just kidding but now you know how scientists feel when they have to deal with people who flunked science and simply do not know what they are talking about. If you know anything about me, then you know that I am a Christian Fundamentalist. We are supposed to be the most ignorant of all Christians. So how can a Fundie believe in evolution?

First of all, I do not "believe" in evolution. I accept it as science whereas creationism is nonsense outside of Sunday School and theological seminaries. And "Intelligent Design" is not science. It isn't even good pseudo-science.

Second, we Christians are supposed to avoid pseudo-science (such as astrology and Intelligent Design) and the occult and cults.

Third, my background as a Catholic gave me a Neo-Thomist parochial school education. That meant that I got a better education than the kids in other schools. Even Protestant parents sent their kids to my grade school. The Catholic Church learned its lesson from that unfortunate incident with Galileo because Southern Europe spent additional centuries in the Dark Ages while Northern Europe entered The Renaissance and CHRISTIANS invented science and scientific method. The intellectual heavyweights of the Catholic Church these days are Jesuits and they pretty much expect their priests to either get a PhD or get out of the order. I am no Jesuit (they don't admit women) but it is obvious to me that some Protestant denominations did not get the memo about Galileo. Whenever Christianity butts heads with science on science, Christianity always loses.

Fourth, Christianity need not worry about science butting heads with Christianity on Christianity because science takes no notice of religion. It is not supposed to because science deals with science and religion deals with religion.

Why are we talking about evolution and the need for Christians to study it before shooting off their mouths and making all Christians sound stupid? Simple. I brought up evolution because evolution deals with (usually) slow change over millions of years. Some Christians think that the Earth was created 6000 years ago. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that. Judaism has a 7000 year history and they are somewhat more learned than gentiles so I think the creationism illiterates' math is off.

I also think that most people have no ability to grasp long stretches of time. You've seen young people who are boggled by the idea that the world existed before them. An infantile point of view. I have met 115 year people who have seen three centuries. On the other hand, there are foolish American executives who cannot imagine past the next quarter. It is no wonder that they ram mega-billion dollar companies into the ground without the ability to plan decades ahead. Anyone with a brain with more than one brain cell knows that fossil and fission will accumulate toxins in the environment and kill us all but some people simply cannot see back or see ahead because their neocortex is either brain damaged from drug use or it never developed.

Bear with me. All this is going somewhere.

The First Century Christians thought Jesus just stepped out to the corner store and would be back in a few moments. We all know that God has a somewhat longer view of time than us mere mortals. Saint Peter and Saint Paul died waiting along with the early Christians expecting Jesus' imminent return. Several major denominations (Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, etc.) came out of the expectation of imminent return. Last time I checked, nope. Of course, we could all be dead and not know that we were in hell but this is a treatise on science not philosophy.

Nostradamus, Mother Shipton and others suggested that Jesus might not return until the year 7000 AD. Whether true or not, we Christians had better start thinking in terms of decades, centuries, millennia, millions of years, and even Aeons (one Aeon is one billion years). Your god is too small.

My God is infinite and eternal. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.


What does time have to do with space?

Simple. Astronomers use light to study the universe. Unfortunately, light moves at the speed of light. That means what we see in the night sky happened thousands, millions and, in some cases billions of years ago. The light is now arriving. Much of what we see through telescopes might not even exist anymore. It might have blown up in a nova or got swallowed by a black hole and been replaced by empty space or a quasar.

If you are brain-damaged or stupid and think that the world was just created a few minutes ago or a few thousand years ago, then you will be unable to function in astronomy or geology or glaciology or biology or law or finance or pretty much any field you enter. You will end up on the public dole and then people like me will have to support your lazy stupid ***.

I apologize for taking such a harsh tone but this whole matter should have been settled centuries ago and I sometimes lose patience with people who cannot see the obvious. Walk outside your home and look at the ground and the rocks. They come in layers. Strata. Topsoil, subsoil, bedrock. Laying down layers is a function of time.

Likewise, the rest of the universe is exactly the same way. Give a star enough time and it will create most of the elements of the periodic chart. Give gas and dust in space enough time and it will coalesce into planets and moons with those layers we just discussed. My brother was not a science major but he looks at sand and seashells on the ground a hundred miles inland and instantly understands that millions of years ago this was the coast and a beach was there. Either he used his brain to understand time and space or he saw a science program on the Discovery Channel.

The previous article on evolution is useful for understanding that time and space are tools for God, or Nature if you prefer, to build people, places and things. In the same way, matter and energy interact.

So getting back to the ancient fossil light seen through telescopes, some astronomers reading this article must be thinking: "I wish there was tachyon astronomy so that I could see what is happening now instead of being basically an historian."

A tachyon is a faster than light particle that some theorists are hoping to discover.


Where might we go?

That is up to you. You have a whole universe to choose from. Besides the usual suspects of The Moon and Mars, we can terraform Mercury, Venus and Ceres. Only a few short years ago, it was thought that only the Solar System had planets. But since 1992, astronomers have been discovering planets around other stars. The current total tops 1700 confirmed planets. It is now thought that the universe may contain trillions of planets. And that is not counting moons with atmospheres and spherical asteroids in other stellar systems -- let alone other galaxies.


A better question is where should we not go? If our own history has taught us that genocide and slavery will surely send us to hell, then we should avoid claimed and inhabited worlds and seek out unclaimed & uninhabited worlds. We might avoid being exterminated by not ticking off the neighbors. So we need to muzzle the nut cases who want to start wars out there and find them nice comfy rubber rooms and straitjackets. Instead of electing them to high office.

Why would anyone leave Earth?

In shows like Firefly, we see people who move out into the boondocks to get away from the Big Government mind control (the NSA and MKULTRA). We see people accepting life and finding serenity, tranquility and peace. I speak not of Captain Mal (a lost cause) but of Shepherd Book. Captain Mal wasn't a total loss though because he came to respect Shepherd Book. And speaking of brain damage, even River Tam eventually figured out that the Bible makes no sense if you cut it up but the whole book (that word again) is like the Ark of the Covenant -- through it we communicate with God. And we go one step further from the physical ark through the book to nonphysical prayer as God weans us off dependence on anything that non-Christians can take away from us.

I do not perceive anything like Nazi book burnings happening (Kindle is pretty close) or Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 but I do not rule out a Tribulation and the decision by many Christians to take flight into deep space. It would not be the first time that God instructed us to pull up stakes and move for our own safety. I seem to recall Noah.

Jesus taught stewardship and so we should be good stewards of God's green Earth and clean up the air, land and water pollution. [I have seen supposed Christians throw litter on the ground. And I told them to pick it up. The Earth is the Lord's.] But too many people calling themselves Christians allow themselves to be mesmerized by such as the Koch brothers who ignore their own scientists in their obsession with denying climate change much in the manner that Neo-Nazis deny The Holocaust.

So we ignore science at our peril. I am not necessarily saying that scientists are latter day Jeremiahs. However, compared to the Koch brothers and their ability to throw billions of dollars into TV commercials, climatologists are voices crying in the wilderness. Instead of taking Revelation as a prophetic warning to turn or burn, some sick twisted people yearn for climate change to kill everyone and for Wormwood to smash into the Earth and they hope God smites whoever they hate -- unaware that God might smite them for being haters. Jesus was about love but He did say "depart from me, I never knew ye."




harvest moon
harvest moon

How will anyone leave the Earth?

  • ITAR
  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms
  • NASA
  • FAA
  • Homeland Security
  • NSA
  • NRO

How can anyone build a spaceship in their backyard with all the snooping drones and meddling police and bureaucrats?

1. Avoid using explosive propellants because these bring the people above down on you.

2. Move to a country that does not care what you do in your backyard. That actually is most countries because only the USA, the UK, Russia, China, North Korea and a very few others actively spy on everyone.

3. Stay away from terrorists so that you are not caught in the cross-fire when Delta Force or a SEAL team or a cruise missile or a Predator drone comes to kill the terrorists.

4. Consider a design that does not involve rockets at all. The downside of a flying saucer is that DARPA will try to steal your technology.

5. Just raise a ton of money and pay a space company to take care of the details. This is the simplest and most sensible way but Christians are not joyful givers. Mormons are likely to raise money faster than Christians.


I have done a whole Squidoo lens on this.

http://www.squidoo.com/backyard-space-projects


This planet is Earth.
This planet is Earth.
Mars
Mars

A "space opera"

There is "space opera" in the sense of a genre of science fiction. There is also opera about space complete with singing opera singers. The first opera about space may have been Aniara, about a doomed planetship. It premiered around the time 2001: a space odyssey premiered. I will post it.

There have been many space operas of both kinds.

Ground Control: An Opera in Space

Space Fantasia 2001 Nights - 1987 OVA - Subtitled

Can humans settle other worlds?

This seems a pointless question to ask since individuals, whole families, nonprofit NGO's, businesses, and governments are already planning colonies. Sooner or later some church or denomination or religious community will decide to start moving groups out there and planting colonies.


Colonizing Mars [HD]

Mars

There are now several associations (where once there was just Mars Underground) and several companies dedicated to Mars colonization. The great thing is that while some laugh, the would be colonists can ignore them. The joke is on us who stay on Earth because ignorance of ecology and the environment and our pollution of the land, air and water on Earth may make Mars less poisonous and toxic than Earth.

There is a theory, the two world theory, that says that life started on Mars but then took its next steps on Earth. [Based on analysis of chemical elements and ultradian rhythms, there are those making a reasonable case for a three world theory and even a four world theory.

If true, then God put a lot a time and care into making humans. Makes you want to treat God with respect to paraphrase Pigpen from Peanuts.


coming soon to a hub near you

This is the trailer for the movie The Mars Underground.

The Mars Underground - Trailer [HD]

and now our feature

Turn off the phone and other devices. Get some popcorn or your favorite snacks. This is over an hour long.

I might feel like I am undercutting my hub on Analog Film except nothing digital nor video can replace real film. That is why the director of Interstellar, Christopher Nolan, and other directors are insisting on releasing their films on film. It was George Lucas' idea to turn the movies into crappy TV (television has always copied the innovations at movie theatres) and now the arrogant SOB's who own Hollywood want theaters to actually BE television. And they wonder why many people won't go to the movies. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

What does this have to do with Mars? Simple. Life on Earth has become even more phony, plastic, artificial and . . . . virtual than ever before. No wonder many people think that they are actually trapped in a nightmarish Matrix. No wonder people want real adventure instead of second-hand adventure. No wonder people are getting off the couch where they have turned into potatoes and become fat blobs like in WALL-E. No wonder people are exercising more instead of watching overpaid athlete exercise on TV. No wonder people want one-way tickets to Mars and live like in the Old West. When couch potatoes call them crazy, the Mars Underground might respond that it is crazy to do nothing when the Koch Brothers and Rex Tillerson and their ilk are deliberately trying to murder the human race by turning Earth into Venus. And when couch potatoes whine that these Mars colonists are suicidal, the Colonists have a right to respond: "Who is really crazy? The pioneer looking for greener pastures or the fool who remains while the warmongers and the terrorists and the polluters are destroying the Earth and calling environmentalists terrorists for wanting a clean planet?" Risky? That is the whole point to take calculated risks. To feel alive instead of buried alive on Earth or beneath six feet of earth.


Enjoy the movie!


THE MARS UNDERGROUND [HD] Full Movie

Ceres

Of the four spherical asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt, Ceres is the largest. Some say it is a more worthy place for a colony than Mars or our moon because it has the largest supply of fresh water ice other than Earth or Europa. And someone has to colonize it and protect it from strip miners because the Solar System is full of rocks that are hazards to navigation and that should be mined first.

The first Ceres video is all female, a refreshing change from all male presentations on space. No offense intended to my male colleagues.

Full length Ceres Series: Part I--Destination Ceres: Icy World Revealed?

Full length Sept. 5 2013 Google + Hangout Ceres Series: Part II - Great Expectations

Mercury as a place to colonize

Everyone thinking of settling on another world thinks of Mars first and our moon second. There are other choices and Mercury is one of them. There are places on Mercury colder than Pluto because Mercury is tidally locked with one face always facing the sun while the dark side never sees the sun. Therefore, the dark side and near the poles may be places to find water ice deposited by all the passing comets.


Update: Mercury is NOT tidally locked. It rotates so slowly that astronomers are only now noticing that fact.


Good thing I do fact checking but I appreciate helpful people pointing out typos and astronomical errors.


Mercury Parraformed

From Hell to Paradise: Venus as a place to colonize

Science fiction for generations has depicted Venus as a lush (if steamy) garden. Now scientific probes reveal it to be a hellish place.


No one is serious about this world yet. There are articles about large balloons floating high in the Venusian atmosphere but no one want to go to a surface hotter than Mercury's sunward side. So hot that metal melts and probes to the surface only last a few hours. It is not just the heat. The atmosphere is so thick that it literally crushes probes.


All this said, there are ways to terraform Venus. I speak not of the slow methods that would take centuries or millennia but new methods that might take only decades or even years or months. However, I don't really see nanotechnology terraforming Venus into Earth-like conditions --

  • 72 degrees Fahrenheit average temperature
  • 14.7 pounds per square inch on the surface
  • ozone layer blocking harmful UV
  • magnetosphere and Van Allen radiation belt blocking gamma and X-rays from the sun

-- in weeks. Some of this is outside the capability of any nanotechnology I have ever heard of, even far future fantasy nanotech. I think the most optimistic we can be is months but I would not mind being proven wrong. You know, God did creation in "days" and so God expects the children of God (His children) to at least get the job done in weeks.

"Do ye not know that ye are gods?" - Genesis

Do ye not know that ye are gods?” - Psalms 82:6

Do ye not know that ye are gods?” - John 10:34

Do ye not know that ye are gods?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

People misquote that bit about humans being a little lower than the angels when actually it says a little lower than God. This does not make us all tin horn dictators as in Mormon theology. Instead it means we have responsibility for what we do. In other words, if we enslave people or commit genocide or pollute God's green Earth or, with global warming and the Greenhouse Effect, turn Earth into Venus, then we go to hell literally, figuratively, metaphorically, physically, emotionally, mentally, AND spiritually.

Grow up. Take responsibility. Stop throwing litter on the ground. Because God does not care about your words or your faith, if they are not backed up by acts and works.

So in this case, let us terraform Venus into a Garden of Eden and a paradise. Let's not screw it up this time. No wars. No crime. No pollution.


Venus Terraforming

Looking at the Milky Way from a rim world called Earth

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. | Source

Forget the Solar System, some people want to colonize the whole galaxy

Some want to skip the first eight steps (boring) and start colonizing other galaxies. Milky Way been there, done that. I mean we live in the Milky Way. What we have seen of it looks like a lot of unsuitable planets -- most of which may be claimed and inhabited. Our baby steps out in the rest of the Milky Way will probably touch off a round of wars.

So why not save time and a lot of bloodshed and look much further afield? We can always come back to the Milky Way after going to other galaxies but the reverse is not true. If we get stepped on and squashed like bugs by a superior civilization within the Milky Way, then there will be no second act. Better to stretch our legs now and develop superior transportation. A galaxyship is superior to a starship or a planetship.

But don't let me influence you with common sense and wisdom. Go ahead. Make a fatal mistake. You won't be around to hear me say I told you so.


center of the Milky Way seen at three wavelengths

Prices per seat

The NASA space shuttle was available only to their astronauts after years of training and waiting and cost around $143,000,000 per astronaut per seat per flight.

The Russians charge as much as $35,000,000 per seat.

They must have laughed all the way to the bank at Americans who cannot get their own government to allow anyone up but government bureaucrats. So even billionaires have to go over to Russia to get a ride up and even that has stopped with the sanctions over Russia helping itself to the territory of The Ukraine (the USA let the same thing go when Russia bit off part of Georgia but this time was one time too many).


The following are all suborbital:


Virgin Galactic states a fare of $250,000 but it is closer to $200,000.

XCOR is pricing around $100,000 per seat.

A johnny come lately balloon company is under-cutting Zero2Infinity's Inbloon at $75,000 per seat.


Some space companies want to go even lower per seat.


All prices quoted in US dollars.

Times of passenger space flights

In the beginning of the space flight era, these opportunities for one person in the astronaut were one in a decade before your name came up again. A lucky few astronauts were in the Mercury Program as well as the Gemini Program. Some were in the Apollo Program and then the Shuttle Program.

Private spacelines should have preceded and replaced any government airline or government passenger service to orbit. Now, after a half century of red tape and bureaucracy and waste of taxpayer money, what should have been the norm to begin with may finally happen.

In the new commercial era, instead of years between flights to orbit, to the moon, and to Mars, it may be months or weeks or even days apart. One day, there may be hourly flights to orbit from one of the commercial spaceports such as Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Space food

Although there are plans for hotels in orbit, there are no plans for restaurants in orbit and elsewhere that I have heard of and I keep a very close watch. Unless you can stand to eat freeze-dried bricks and suck like a baby from toothpaste tubes, you better plan on growing your own food out there.

Potatoes began in the Andes and there are 575 varieties of them, although you may have seen three at the most. Some believe them to be the food plant best adapted or adaptable to establishing in greenhouses in air domes on the moon and perhaps out in the open atmosphere of Mars. Pumpkin is said to be the plant that releases the most oxygen per hour. Good to know if you need to breathe and the artificial life support system breaks down. I have no documentation on either of these plant species but I am getting in touch with space agriculture experts and I will get back to readers on this if anyone is interested.

Animals compete with humans for air and as such, this is why you hear of people like Elon Musk talking about vegetarians on Mars. No doubt the red planet will be a hit with Hindus.

In terms of extreme space agriculture, the asteroid Ceres though far from the sun could specialize in agriculture because only two worlds have comparable amounts of water/ice -- Earth and Europa. Other worlds in the Solar System may have to haul in comets from the Oort Cloud to supply water and to terraform. Of course, we are talking large scale agriculture to feed billions and not a little garden plot in your backyard or a potted tomato plant in your apartment.


hand of God pulsar

Space shopping

I do a lens over at Squidoo titled Guide to Space Shopping. I would provide a hyperlink except HubPages would ding me for too many links to the same domain. Just go to Squidoo dot com and then either search for "Guide to Space Shopping" or add forward slash guide-to-space-shopping to the URL for Squidoo. It is not all fun and games. Many of the links and information is to the real deal.

Orion Nebula
Orion Nebula

-

Cletus Spuckler: "Hey Brandine, I done slipped the surly bonds of Dirt!"

Brandine: "Nah, you opened the airlock and got sucked out into the vacuum cleaner of space."

remnant of a supernova in the Larger Magellanic Cloud

The LMC is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.  All galaxies contain stars that can go nova.
The LMC is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. All galaxies contain stars that can go nova.

Third Day

Christian rock group Third Day praises the “God of wonders beyond our galaxy”.

"Big" by Planetshakers

"Erasing Astronomy, Fundie-Style."

This next video is made by a woman whose First Contact is not with extraterrestrials but with my fellow Fundamentalist Christians. In my early days as a young born-again Christian, I was constantly around other born-agains of every flavor -- Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, Charismatic Catholics, and Messianic Jews. So I understood from the start that born-again Christians were a diverse group. The ones I was around had a few science phobes but overall they were intelligent and mostly college educated like myself and a few had advanced degrees. I never heard anyone mock the theory of evolution and if I had I would have called them on it the same as if they had said the Earth was flat or if they had questioned the theory of gravity. It is an observable fact that if you drop something, then it will fall.

So it is sobering to listen to this lady get her first impression of Fundamentalists specifically and Christians in general as an ignorant lot. A decade or so after leaving my early Christian community, I returned and discovered that the elders had turned against anything progressive. For example, Christians were the first to join and lead the environmental movement. Now there are a few among the climate change deniers. Very sad. This is why some Christians leave Christianity and become atheists. The ones who stay within Christianity often become more stupid. It hurts me to say this but the Bible says:

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." -- John 8:32

Since I take a certain satisfaction in giving my fellow Fundies a hard time (we call it rebuking), I don't mind when I get lumped in with them by non-Christians. I consider it a teachable moment both for me to learn as well as to edify other Fundies and to teach non-Christians that Christianity is worth a second look. I don't stress out when I hear that some Christians have left Christianity and become atheists because I am also aware that some atheists become Christians and that fact does not overly impress me.

All we can do is love people unconditionally, be polite, and answer their questions as best we can. If we don't know the answer, then we ask a scientist or a theologian at a university. And we avoid creationists who want to bring back the Dark Ages and to help the Muslims destroy civilization, history, and science. I have studied astronomy literally since I was a child and I can tell you that good science is like good plumbing and good work by an electrician. You don't care about the religion or lack of religion of your scientist or plumber or electrician. All you should care about is -- Are they honest? (Creationists fail that test.) And do they do quality science, quality plumbing and quality electrical work?

If not, your civilization collapses, your plumbing is clogged, and your house burns down from not being up to the electrical code.

Erasing Astronomy, Fundie-Style.

Is Alien Life Out There?

Vatican Observatory Co-Hosts Science Conference in Arizona.


L. U. C. I. F. E. R.

The Pleiades

The nine major stars are named for seven sisters and their father and mother.  Subaru uses this constellation as their symbol.
The nine major stars are named for seven sisters and their father and mother. Subaru uses this constellation as their symbol.

The Pleiades

This is one of the very few constellations where the constituent stars are actually close to each other spatially. This makes it an asterism like Sol (the Sun in our Solar System) and nearby Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star and Wolf 359. Most constellations are composed of stars that are nowhere near each other and may be in different regions of the galaxy altogether. Constellations are useful if one has to navigate on Earth at night without GPS or a compass and useful for pointing a telescope. However, if you were far outside the Solar System they would be useless because their relative positions would be different.

Think of trees in a forest. You walk around and one specific tree on your right can become the same tree on your left or behind you or in front of you. If you are in a cave, the tree might be above you. If you take off in a helicopter and look down, the tree would be below you. It is a matter of where your perspective or point of view is.

By the way, you may have heard of our Sun's formal name, Sol. You probably have heard of Alpha Centauri (Rigil) and Wolf 359 from science fiction. [Proxima Centauri is the first closest star to ours and Wolf is the fifth] You may know enough amateur astronomy that you have heard of Barnard's Star and Sirius, the second and seventh respectively. You get bonus points for knowing about Lalande 21185, the sixth closest star to us. But even some professional astronomers are unaware that Luhman 16 and WISE 0855–0714 are the third and fourth closest stellar systems to our Solar System.

Now you know your own neighborhood better than you know the Pleides' neighborhood.

The Horsehead Nebula

even people who know nothing else about astronomy know this one
even people who know nothing else about astronomy know this one

We are everywhere (literally)

The vision is a universe which has freedom without slavery (including new forms of slavery such as AI's and clones), privacy from Big Government and Big Business, no mind control, peace without militarization, peace with any more advanced civilizations out there, noninterference with less advanced civilizations, no genocide, no genetically modified food, clean terraformed worlds with no crime, and Christian schools & Christian intentional communities that support these goals because we go into space for a fresh start and a better life.

Why has the ionosphere become an iron curtain? Why is it a Space Berlin Wall where we are kept as prisoners on a little planet with dictators as our so-called leaders? Why are we not allowed into free space?



We go into space for a fresh start and a better life. We do not seek the approval of government space agencies which have done nothing to get average people into space in large numbers. Instead they impede, create obstacles, invade privacy, steal intellectual property, and otherwise waste taxpayer money. They also kill people. Because we are not a spaceline subject to regulations, we assert our rights and take our authority as the masters of the public servants (government space agencies), as voters, as members of juries, as a lobby, as taxpayers demanding government accountability, as citizens of a universe that the government does not own, as free people that the government does not own, as watchdogs of our rights, as consumers to be served, and as we the people.


Get an attitude. Do not take criminal abuse from your government. You are not sheep to the slaughter. It is not enough to fight back defensively. Take the offensive and gain additional rights, powers, and privileges. There must not be corporate personhood in space as exists in the USA. The only persons are individual human beings -- not corporations, not robots, not governments.


Get an attitude. At so-called space forums where anyone can speak at the microphone if they wait their turn politely, read the following statement:


"The government space program officials are pathological liars. Pathological because they actually believe the lies they tell about opening up space to all. I have never been in outer space and no one I know has ever been in outer space. Therefore, based on the pathetic performance of the last fifty years, the government space program should be shut down, abolished, defunded, and a law should be passed to prevent the government space program from ever being created again."


Then smile and take your seat.


We have no choice but freedom. If we reject freedom, free will, and free enterprise in space; we allow government mind control (MKULTRA), totalitarianism, tribulation, hell on Earth, and hell everywhere else. And it will have no end.


Get an attitude. Encourage your fellow Christians to consider space as a real place to colonize and missionize rather than as an unhealthy war game fantasy (carnography). Pray for divine help in organizing a space colonization group (SCG). Join a fellowship or congregation that is interested in God's cosmos and leave a church stuck in provincial matters. Start a ministry for space industry workers. Save your money and then invest in space companies owned by Christian entrepreneurs (if it is a good investment). Start a space company. Add astronomy, astronautics, and other space sciences to the curriculum of your Christian school or college. It is a lot healthier than internet addiction and computer addiction. Serve on committees. Devote an hour each week to furthering the cause of Christians Into Space. Live in an intentional community or Christian gated community whose residents have as their goal either relocating to a space colony or raising children who want to emigrate. These are the new mission fields of the 21st Century.


Get an attitude. Do not say that you are not some church leader like Billy Graham or Joel Osteen. No, obviously you are not them. You are you. And I guarantee that before you were born God had you in mind when He needed something special done. You are on a mission from God to make the universe a safer place without war, crime, or disasters. If you need ideas for careers, then there can be few more noble callings than to become a safety engineer in order to engineer the Earth and the rest of the universe into a safe place for adults and children. Yes there are other fine professions and trades but pray about this choice. And encourage others to make this world and all other worlds safer.


Why? War, crime, and disasters are bad things. We Christians are called to be good, do good, and have good things like peace, law, and order.


Earth's Location in the Universe

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

quote

Kirk: "What does God need with a starship?" - StarTrek V

response

In the quote, the fictional Captain Kirk asks the poseur pretending to be God a question that would not offend the real God. Our God asks us to test Him. A faker would be offended by a challenge because they fear discovery. This is worth remembering if we run into species that are technologically years, decades, centuries, millennia, and perhaps millions of years more advanced. The person trying to fool us might think that they can fool the simpletons from Earth. So it is a good thing that some of us read science fiction and are familiar with the tricks and cons (shell games like 3 card Mont) that a more technologically advanced being might try to pull.

God loved the ancient Hebrews and loves the Jewish people because they are not suckers like Gentiles who believe what politicians tell them. In the rare historical instances when Jewish people do trust the authorities (German Jews doing what the authorities told them and get aboard trains of cattle cars and enter showers with Zyklon B), in those instances The Holocaust and The Inquisition happened. Christians sometimes have the nerve to criticize Jews for being stubborn (the Bible says stiff-necked), when they ought to admire them for not being suckers.

So to answer Kirk's question: "What does God need with a starship?" , God does not need a starship so the being in Star Trek Five pretending to be God is a fraud and a phony. And to continue the answer, it is we humans who need spaceships to go where there is no breathable air. We need moonships to get to the moon. We need planetships to get to other planets. We'll need starships to travel between stellar systems and we'll need galaxyships to travel between galaxies (Milky Way, Andromeda, Triangulum, etc.).


There was a song by this name.

Actually we cannot breathe in space. However, we can:

1. wear spacesuits

2. maintain cabin pressure in our spacecraft

3. use life support systems such as pressure domes on other worlds such as the moon

4. terraform other worlds such as Mars and either install an atmosphere if none exists (like on airless worlds), modify the existing atmosphere (if it is toxic, like on Titan) or thicken the existing atmosphere (if it is thin like on Mars or Ganymede).



Venus is smaller than Earth so you would expect the gravity to be less and the atmosphere held by that gravity thinner but you'd be wrong. Venus has an atmosphere thick enough to crush you if the heat did not burn you to death first and the toxic gases did not poison you. So the problem on Venus is to undo the runaway greenhouse effect (no doubt caused by the now-extinct climate change deniers once there) and to replace the greenhouse gases there with nitrogen and oxygen. Of course, while this terraforming project was going on, the whole time climate change deniers would be saying that it is impossible for humans to do anything because God put our hands on backwards, Man was not meant to fly, and lots of other embarrassingly stupid remarks.


As for the poster saying that "they" (meaning NASA) don't want us to escape, that is probably true. Let us let the facts speak for themselves. NASA was created in 1958. It has had fifty-six years, over half a century, to get large numbers of people, that's you and me, into space. It has failed miserably. Each year there is a new excuse. No one can be that incompetent. It has to be deliberate. They cannot tax us out there or interfere with free exercise of religion or prevent us from declaring independence unless they, meaning the IRS, follow us out to the moon, Mars, Alpha Centauri or Andromeda.


Question for historians: Did any government in pre-colonial Europe try to prevent people from coming to the New World? Maybe not but in the present day, incredible barriers exist to those trying to escape North Korea. So we return to the implicit question in the poster I found posted anonymously on the internet: Are they trying to prevent us from escaping Earth?



Extraterrestrials are unlikely to be friendly or hostile

They are likely to be indifferent.  As indifferent as we are when we step on ants without noticing that they ever existed.
They are likely to be indifferent. As indifferent as we are when we step on ants without noticing that they ever existed. | Source

The Milky Way as seen from Wellington, New Zealand

Earth is a rim world.  That means that the Solar System is on the outer rim of the Milky Way, our home galaxy.  Without the blinding sunshine by day or bright moonlight, at night we can look toward the centre of the galaxy and see this.
Earth is a rim world. That means that the Solar System is on the outer rim of the Milky Way, our home galaxy. Without the blinding sunshine by day or bright moonlight, at night we can look toward the centre of the galaxy and see this. | Source

radio telescopes of the ALMA large millimeter array

radio telescopes of the ALMA large millimeter array in the Atacama Desert
radio telescopes of the ALMA large millimeter array in the Atacama Desert | Source

The VLT platform of optical telescopes that work as one

The European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (VLT) atop Cerro Paranal, a 2600-metre high mountain in Chile.
The European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (VLT) atop Cerro Paranal, a 2600-metre high mountain in Chile. | Source

Probably the Largest Laser Pointer in the World

Contrary to what you might think, no aliens are blinded by having a laser shining in their eyes.  By the time the beam leaves the atmosphere, it has already spread out quite a bit.  Therefore, ET's parents won't show up to take revenge.
Contrary to what you might think, no aliens are blinded by having a laser shining in their eyes. By the time the beam leaves the atmosphere, it has already spread out quite a bit. Therefore, ET's parents won't show up to take revenge. | Source

Why active SETI is a really bad idea: Taxpayers stuck with bill to rebuild

S.E.T.I. Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.  Active SETI is broadcasting, some say screaming, at the universe like a 2 year old to get attention by someone, anyone.  It's considered unwise by most experts. Passive SETI is listening only.
S.E.T.I. Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. Active SETI is broadcasting, some say screaming, at the universe like a 2 year old to get attention by someone, anyone. It's considered unwise by most experts. Passive SETI is listening only. | Source

Editor's Note

I actually do not think that there is anyone out there among the stars. At least not at our level.

If they even exist (not likely), then they are likely to be more technically advanced or less advanced. They might be millions of years ahead of us and have as much in common with us as we have with bacteria. In this comparison we would be the bacteria.

They might be a million years behind us and comparable to Cavemen or Apemen just barely recently out of the trees. Considering that to this very day (2014 as of editing this hub), Natives in the Amazon rainforest are still murdered by city slicker Brazilians intent on stealing their land for oil drilling, logging and building highways; we humans are not even civilized toward other humans. What chance would alien tribes have? Avatar is just a movie.

I think it would be a dangerous mistake to abuse or disrespect any "primitive" aliens. We might be under surveillance and if word got out that humans were going to repeat the mistakes of their own history on non-humans, then what would be the reaction?

  • forbidden to join any United Civilizations organization
  • no allies if some invader invaded Earth
  • no friends if the sun went nova or a black hole wandered into the Solar System
  • vaporized or the Earth turned into another asteroid belt
  • some sort of barrier put up around the Solar System to keep us in like a prison
  • relocated to a reservation along with other species (think Oklahoma when tribes were relocated from all over the country)
  • military occupation with a Roman-like governor and perhaps crucifixions to scare us into compliance
  • shunned by other species when we make First Contact with them thus damaging trade, commerce and our economy

Better to impose rules on ourselves (like Noninterference) than to risk having rules imposed on us by hostile outsiders.


Kapteyn b is calculated to be two and one half (2½ X) times older than the Earth and is only 13 light years from Earth. That puts it within the thirty nearest stellar systems to the Solar System if you are keeping track.

Ancient Planet in a Globular Cluster Core (STScI-PRC2003-19a)

A rich starry sky fills the view from an ancient gas-giant planet in the core of the globular star cluster M4, as imagined in this artist's concept. The 13-billion-year-old planet orbits a helium white-dwarf star and the millisecond pulsar B1620-26,
A rich starry sky fills the view from an ancient gas-giant planet in the core of the globular star cluster M4, as imagined in this artist's concept. The 13-billion-year-old planet orbits a helium white-dwarf star and the millisecond pulsar B1620-26,

Name of Oldest Known Planet

The planet that orbits pulsar B1620-26 and a white dwarf I managed to pull up by inputting this string "STScI-PRC2003-19a" into a search engine. It has no name. It is the oldest known planet. My dog Snoopy thinks perhaps we should call it something distinctive like "Joe Smith".

Jokes aside, we cannot complain about stars and planets not having names. Even if we were to use every word in the English language and every word in every other language, we still would not have enough words to name every star, much less the many planets that orbit them. Assuming about four million words, our words are literally inadequate. There are ten billion stars in the Milky Way at minimum. Some estimates exceed four hundred billion. There are large galaxies that have one Trillion stars. The fact is that most stars and planets and asteroids will never get names because Adam never got that far when God told him to name stuff. On the other hand, it is nice to know that if we ever want to get away from it all and get lost out in the wilderness and go camping for a weekend (or a century), then there will be plenty of universe enough to do it.

Why should we care about the oldest worlds in the universe? Simple: If ever there was a place that had time enough to evolve life, intelligent life, civilization; and perhaps super-civilization; then this would be the place. Unfortunately for those seeking wisdom at the feet of a great-grandfatherly culture (my folks always said to listen to your elders), this planet is 5600 light years away, larger than Jupiter and thus likely a gas giant with little in common with a solid surface planet like Earth. The good news is that it is not a brown dwarf and there are likely to be smaller planets in the same stellar system.


Rule of thumb: All the planets, moons and asteroids in a given stellar system are going to be about the same age since that it the nature of stellar systems. Only planets wandering in from interstellar space and captured by a star would differ in age.

The International Astronomical Union is in charge of naming planets outside the Solar System since it is the telescopes of their members that discover them. Otherwise we would get silly stuff like Joe Smith or planet Budweiser or profanity. Uwingu and contests can suggest names but such commercial operations and contests are misleading if they give the public the false idea that such names do not need IAU approval before being put on star maps and in official databases and catalogues of such organizations.

Think about it: Would the National Geological Survey be chaotic about maps on Earth? Let any drunk play with Google Maps and pretend to be Rand McNally? Think about it: Your tax dollars pay for much, if not most, of astronomy research and then some joker pays a fee to name something that your tax dollars paid to discover. Think about it: Put a price tag on naming rights and the star charts will have to be re-drawn every few seconds as stars and planets change hands in some sort of naming stock exchange. Bank of America stadium this week, General Motors stadium next week. What next? BP's oil slick star? Planet ExxonMobil? We are better off with the IAU running nomenclature.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrasolar_planet#Nomenclature

http://www.iau.org/public/themes/naming_exoplanets/


In other words, it does not matter what you paid or how many votes you got. These schemes to name stars or planets without official sanction are scams.



Update

Before I even published this article, I found out that the planet now has a standardized designation -- PSR B1620-26 b -- named after one of its stars the Pulsar B1620-26 and according to Wikipedia: It bears the unofficial nicknames "Methuselah" and "the Genesis planet" due to its extreme age. If no other planet is found to be older, then Methuselah is the name I would have given it.


STScI-PRC2003-19a

The globular cluster of which the pulsar and white dwarf are members is said to be all that is left of a smaller galaxy that the Milky Way swallowed up long ago.
The globular cluster of which the pulsar and white dwarf are members is said to be all that is left of a smaller galaxy that the Milky Way swallowed up long ago.

Observatory with Harvest Moon Rising

Source

The Milky Way (words by Toni Roman)

my version copyright © 2014
my version copyright © 2014

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