This fascinating study might help make interstellar travel a reality

This fascinating study might help make interstellar travel a reality

Interstellar travel could be possible, scientists say, but not in the way you might think.

For decades science fiction has suggested the possibility of travelling beyond our galaxy. This kind of traveling is more commonly known as interstellar traveling, and it’s just one of many long-term, possibly improbable goals humanity has for the future. But it’s a goal for good reasons.

Unlocking interstellar travel

Billions of years in the future our Sun will leave its main sequence. At that point, it will become a red giant. When that happens, Earth and several other planets will be swallowed up and destroyed. Many people hope that humans will be able to fly large spacecraft around the world by then. But, what if we don’t?

Well, a new paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology suggests we might not need spaceships for interstellar travel after all. Instead, we could use rogue planets.

Published in early April, the paper was written by Irina K. Romanovskaya. Romanovskaya suggests that migrating extraterrestrial civilizations (or ETCs) could have already experienced planet-killing events like their star dying. As such, it is possible that they have used rogue planets as living, organic spaceships to travel the universe.

The idea of interstellar transport is based on technology that can travel faster than light. Or, if that wasn’t possible, a spacecraft large enough for generations of humans to live out their lives during transit. Given our current space technology, both of these options seem unlikely to be possible for many centuries.

The paper, overall, is more meant to help with the search for extraterrestrial life, but the propositions within it could implicate some amazing things.

Using rogue planets as moving colonies

Of course, there is another wrinkle to using rogue planets for interstellar travel than just discovering them. First, we’d need to be able to get to them. Upcoming missions to the Moon and even planned missions to Mars in the 2030s could help prepare us for that.

But, eventually, it could take centuries to build cities on other planets. Maybe even longer. This theory could be difficult to prove. It’s still fascinating.

Finding a way to make interstellar travel possible would be fantastic. And it could open new doors of exploration for humanity as a whole. Currently, the only experience we have with any kind of interstellar travel is Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, both of which are meandering through interstellar space.

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