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Old March 15 2014, 05:48 AM   #32
Australis
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Re: Why don't they crash?

Maurice wrote: View Post
Place a basketball in L.A. Place another basketball in NYC, then one in Berlin, Shanghai, and Capetown. Now, yank the Earth away and you have a nice scale model of a local cluster of stars (where the LA to NYC one is Earth to Alpha Centauri). Now, take a microscopic sand grain and shoot it in some random trajectory through that. The chances of it hitting one of the basketballs is about the same as the odds of ship hitting a star: effectively zero.
Good answer, better than what I( was going to say

Metryq wrote: View Post
YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Remember that question someone asked in here – does gravity work at the speed of light, or instantaneously? Well, you can't ever directly measure the answer unless the sun disappeared by magic.
Actually, it has been measured. Astronomer Tom Van Flandern measured the "aberration" (angle) between the Sun's light and its gravity. I made a few animations for him to explain astronomical concepts, and one of the animations was aberration. Another was an animated version of "what if the Sun magically disappeared?"

I'll be dumped on by all the Professional Physicists™ for saying this (they can't abide dissent), but we don't know what gravity is. In fact, we're no further ahead than Newton who did not explain gravity, he merely quantified it. And that's all we can do today. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Einstein and warped space, but all that does is shift the question of gravity, it does not explain it.) The answer is that gravity—whatever it is—is faster than light.

Maurice wrote: View Post
The chances of it hitting one of the basketballs is about the same as the odds of ship hitting a star: effectively zero.
And if we look at the flip-side of that analogy, how do the starships so unerringly find the destination stars over such vast distances?
That's why they say, plot a course. Also, it's that big flamey thing over there. Addtional: in Australia we have a lot of Dutch shipwreckls off the coast of West Australia, simply because they didn't know it was there... until too late, obvously, the ships hitting reefs in the night, trying to keep the favourable trade winds as along as possible. Once they understood a bit more about navigation, they avoided it.

Timelord Victorious wrote: View Post
Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post
And if we look at the flip-side of that analogy, how do the starships so unerringly find the destination stars over such vast distances?
Oh, that's easy. Just point the ship at the little dot and say, "Engage!"

When Captain Kirk said, "Second star to the right and straight on till morning", he wasn't quoting anything; he was giving specific course instructions.
They say "Course: 1765 Mark 5! Engage!" this will take you straight to Vulcan. Everyone knows that! And they can do it from memory at any relative position in space without consulting any kind of starcharts first.
This. Thiugh I woulld add I think real star charts would have to be 3D. In the Lensman series they had somethng called 'the Tank' which was used for navigation as well as plotting battle tactics.
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