From TRAPPIST Monachal Studies in the Middle Ages, To Seven Planets found around one star, the arc of intelligence pursues its ascent! Colonizing the giant Milky Way four armed barred spiral galaxy, with our greedy electronic eyes to start with! The enemies of Progress shall regress!
Surviving is what we do. Contemplating exoplanets, as our ancestors did the Savannah (before colonizing it):
New potentially habitable planets have been found, a mere 39 light years away. They may harbor life. This has everything to do with philosophy. The fascist Catholic church tortured Giordano Bruno, a travelling astronomy professor, for seven years in the Vatican, then pierced his palate, and burned him alive, just for having entertained the possibility of other solar systems, complete with little green men and exobiology. Exobiology meant that the Vatican would not control the universe, as it was supposed to.
The despicable anti-intellectual madness of the Catholic theofascism is not quite dead: this is the present of Islam. And this is what the pseudo-left wants to impose on us (because that pseudo-left in truth works for plutocracy, the enemy of reason).
Another theme of the pseudo-left is that colonialism is bad (whereas most of the world, including Japan and South Africa, full of Bantus who did not use to be there a little while back, is the product of colonialism). The presence of habitable exoplanets reminds us that now colonialism, colonialism of other worlds, is a necessity. Yesterday toi fight cannibalism and slavery, amen, today to ensure the survival of intelligence.
Indeed, colonialism is a necessity for the same reason as it was for our distant ancestors and those of baboons, all of whom left the safety of the trees: colonizing the savannah was better than the alternative, which was death among the trees, in the Dark Forest (I just provided perniciously a link to an excellent Chinese Sci-Fi book; I advise NOT to read the Wikipedia article, which tells the whole tale, all too well, but go buy the book and read it first instead!).
All of morality, and more generally, philosophy, flow from the opportunity of survival, granted by the understanding that a bit more imagination provides with.
The Politically Correct movement (which is anything but) has completely forgotten the deep nature of humanity, or, more generally, intelligence. There is no correctness in the city (polis) if there is no correctness in the physical sense. “PC” is a lie, a manipulation. What they call Political Correctness is the Perfect Con. The Perfect Conspiracy of vicious greed against intelligence.
Interestingly, the astronomers who invented the acronym “TRAPPIST” to designate this Solar System clearly had a feeling for the grander perspective of history I just alluded to.
Why The Name Trappist For Planets?
The Franks brought monasteries under their mighty secular wings in the Fifth century. The Franks had set up their confederation two centuries earlier, under a law written in Latin (the Franks themselves talked a form of Dutch, but they eagerly learned from and then interfere with, Rome)).
During those two centuries the Franks helped Constantine acquire control of the empire, yet, while their comrade in arms Constantine was busy taking himself for the self-described “13th Apostle”, the Franks stayed anti-Christian, while their employer invented, and imposed what he christened “Orthodox Catholicism”.
Said Catholics collapsed the empire with their Political Correctness gone completely mad. Soon enough the Founders of the Church (bishop Ambrose of Milan and Al.) had to submit to their own contradictions. To their sorrow, they put the Franks, whom they had just fought to death, in charge of defense of the empire by 400 CE.
Verily, that was shortly after the Frank Arbogast took control of the Occidental empire in 392-394 CE. By the late fifth Century the Franks understood finally that the optimal course consisted in taking control of Catholicism (“Universalism”), by inventing their own version, just as Constantine had. But while avoiding the pitfall of superstition. (Consul Clovis famously quipped that Christ would never have been crucified if his Franks had been around: a deliberate mangling of Christian superstition!)
Under the Franks, and opposed to the Pope’s fanaticism, in particular that of Gregory the Great, monasteries became centers of knowledge. Saint Benedict of Nursia (in England) became the sort of Catholics the Franks tolerated and encouraged: those new style catholics only preached the kind side of Christianism, not its dark side, and were not just knowledge and progress friendly, but all about it.
Benedict’s mentality led later to the order of the Trappist monks, severely dedicated to study.
The Franks would save 94% of the Greco-Roman books which survived.
In any case, this is remembered by the European astronomers who discovered TRAPPIST 1. As Newton said, repeating 12th century’s Bernard of Chartres, four centuries later: “We stand on the shoulders of giants”. More exactly, “nanos gigantum humeris insidentes”, we are dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants. We discover truth by building on previous discoveries. The moods within Frankish monasteries, for more than a millennium, was all about studying and preserving past wisdom. Without them, all, but ten of Greco-Roman intellectual works would have been lost.
The TRAPPIST exoplanet survey is led from the University of Liege, Belgium. Using the 63 centimeters Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. A member on the team was the initial discoverer of the first exoplanet. (Chile is a honorably performing member of Greater Europe, and is full of expensive European, and US, telescopes enjoying the clarity of the high altitude Atacama desert.)
In 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva, used the radial velocity method with the ELODIE spectrograph on the Observatoire de Haute-Provence telescope in France to discover the first exoplanet around a main sequence star. Both received the Wolf Prize in physics (among other prizes). (My uncle Daniel Challonge founded that observatory. Continuity of civilization here too!)
Now we have discovered 3,500 exoplanets.
Interestingly, Winston Churchill wrote a fascinating, and very correct paper on exoplanets in 1939. Although the paper was unpublished, its content had got to have been known, as its author had close friends who were first class physicists. Basically Churchill wrote that there should be plenty of exoplanets. The theory of solar system formation at the time was that such a system would form only when another star passed close by, and tore material away. Churchill was not fooled and correctly guessed that the correct theory was the nebular theory (which predict plenty of planets). That was that the system gathered from a gas. The idea was discovered by Kant (in his astronomical phase) and Laplace.
The TRAPPIST 1 system was so fascinating that NASA spent hundreds of hours of the Spitzer, Hubble and Kepler orbiting space telescopes to decipher its mysteries. (Follow-up studies will use NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2018 on an Ariane rocket.)
There are seven Earth size TRAPPIST 1 planets, all rotating fast around a red dwarf. Such stars are the most frequent in the universe. They last a very long time, but they flicker, sometimes emitting enormous amounts of radiation. That means that they may sterilize water-bearing planets around them. There are three such planets around TRAPPIST 1. They may need very powerful magnetic fields to keep their atmospheres (solar storms is how Mars lost its atmosphere, recent studies showed). However that means the planets have to be endowed with even more powerful nuclear reactors than Earth (and that may well be a miracle!)
The entire TRAPPIST 1 system is tiny, in the sense that it fits within the orbit of Mercury. Thus the planets are very close to each other. Standing on one of the planet’s surface, one should see geological features or clouds of neighboring worlds, which would sometimes appear twice larger than the moon in Earth’s sky!
Even if suitably hydrated, the planets may have no indigenous life, because of the radiation storms, among other problems.
But those planets will certainly provide humanity with habitat, thus with hope to found a Galactic Empire.
That will sound ridiculous to the PC crowd. However, anybody else realizes that planet Earth has become too small for our increasingly divine technology.
So Trappist 1 should be viewed as a suitable target for colonization (that very non PC word again!) By the time we get there, may have so much technology that we could inhabit any system, and the space in between.
If the fuelless propulsion engine turns out to be real, we would have a means to go to distant stars at very high speeds.
Right now the fastest speeds we can achieve are of the order of 40 kilometers per second, 1/10^4 the speed of light. TRAPPIST 1 is 39 light years away. That means it would take 350,000 years to get there. From the chemical impulse propulsion we have now. However other modes of propulsion exist, or are now imaginable…
“Fuelless” propulsion has apparently been observed. If the effect is real (as it seems), its origin is deep in the foundations of Quantum Physics. (I proposed my own mechanism, Dark Matter Propulsion; researchers at NASA have proposed that the ever mysterious “vacuum energy” is tapped).
Fuelless propulsion achieves at least 100 times the energy efficiency of solar sails and laser push propulsion. The latter has been proposed to send a smartphone sized probe through the Trisolaris Centaurus system, which, it was suggested, it could reach in 20 years (a 100 meter telescope would be way cheaper and is certainly feasible).
So, weirdly enough, there is hope to conquer the entire galaxy pretty soon. The North Korean dictator’s vicious ways may help: Kim just poisoned to death his half-brother in the Kuala Lumpur airport, using VX nerve agent. Taking out Kim, a necessary task, while not allowing him to nuke Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing or LA, should bolster research in more advanced tech.
Spending more on powerful telescopes with existing technology should make us capable of seeing directly the surfaces of such planets (because the Red Dwarves don’t shine brightly, one can look at their planets directly; for stars like the sun, Sol, Alpha and Beta Centauri, one needs to put a screen in front, to mask the star’s blinding light, something which can be done in space, floating hundreds of kilometers away; the technology exists, it’s just a matter of spending half a billion dollars to launch the contraption…) The funding for a system of mighty telescopes is less than one would get by taxing just one of the world’s mightiest plutocrats. Yes, just one, fairly.
The ways of the Lord, namely within ourselves, the possibilities our deepest minds conceive, and bring forth, can only be mysterious. Imagination of the better parts of our best minds, is beyond the comprehension of the public discourse constituting the minds of most of us.
Yet we all have to progress in intelligence, emotional or rational, if we want to improve the probability of survival of terrestrial intelligence. Pretty pictures of imagined surfaces of exoplanets should help.