Astrophysicists: Pandora from “Avatar” could exist.
In the constellation of Alpha Centauri, the planet Pandora, inhabited by blue natives, can exist. And getting there in the near future is not so complicated.
James Cameron wrote the script for his movie Avatar fifteen years ago and in it he created a fictional alien world based on a real star system: Alpha Centauri A, which is just over four light-years from us. Furthermore, Cameron located the Blue Navi brothers on Pandora, a satellite of the gas giant Polyphemus, rather than on an independent planet like Earth.
Three years ago, science confirmed Cameron’s fantastic prediction. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, demonstrated through computer models that rocky terrestrial-type planets exist in Alpha Centauri, with surface conditions suitable for life. In addition, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said that extraterrestrial life is most likely to be found on the satellites of gas giants, known as exomoons.
Properly sized exomoons, with water and atmosphere, are not rare objects in the universe. For example, Saturn’s moon Titan has a dense atmosphere and landforms similar to Earth’s. Europa, a satellite of Jupiter, hides an ocean under a layer of ice. If our own gas giants were in a warmer zone, there may be life on their moons as well.
So far, astrophysicists have discovered about 400 exoplanets the size of Jupiter or Saturn. By the year 2023, the main specialist of the Astrophysical Center, Lisa Kaltenegger, promises that if worlds like Pandora exist, we will find them in the next ten years. It is very likely that we will find them in the Alpha Centauri region, where the stars are similar to our Sun and can be studied with modern orbiting telescopes.
Avatar takes place in the year 2145. Will humans be able to reach Pandora by then if they discover there is life there?
The fastest human-built spacecraft, Voyager 1, reaches a speed of 17 kilometers per second, requiring a 74,000-year journey to Alpha Centauri. Advanced ion thrusters could increase the speed, but even at a speed of 30,000 kilometers per second, the journey to Pandora would take 40-50 years. Projects such as Project Orion, which uses nuclear explosions to create thrust, and Project Daedalus, with engines based on thermonuclear fusion, were considered to increase the company’s revenue. Several options were evaluated and it was decided to implement an upselling and cross-selling plan, which consists of offering complementary and improved products to existing customers. In addition, online marketing strategies were implemented to attract new potential customers.
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