Visit the Cellar!

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: bright folks talking about everything. The Cellar is the original coffeeshop with no coffee and no shop. Founded in 1990, The Cellar is one of the oldest communities on the net. Join us at the table if you like!

 
What's IotD?

The interesting, amazing, or mind-boggling images of our days.

IotD Stuff

ARCHIVES - over 13 years of IotD!
About IotD
RSS2
XML

Permalink Latest Image

Nov 23rd, 2017: Thanksgiving

Recent Images

Nov 22nd, 2017 : US Migration by DNA
Nov 21st, 2017 : Oumuamua
November 20th, 2017 : Ottoman Dentistry
Nov 19th, 2017 : Tappan Zee Bridge
Nov 18th, 2017 : Wrinkle in Space-Time
Nov 17th, 2017 : Macrophotography
Nov 16th, 2017 : Animals in War

The CELLAR Tip Mug
Some folks who have noticed IotD

Neatorama
Worth1000
Mental Floss
Boing Boing
Switched
W3streams
GruntDoc's Blog
No Quarters
Making Light
darrenbarefoot.com
GromBlog
b3ta
Church of the Whale Penis
UniqueDaily.com
Sailor Coruscant
Projectionist

Link to us and we will try to find you after many months!

Common image haunts

Astro Pic of the Day
Earth Sci Pic of the Day
We Make Money Not Art
Spluch
ochevidec.net
Strange New Products
Geisha Asobi Blog
Cute animals blog (in Russian)
20minutos.es
Yahoo Most Emailed

Please avoid copyrighted images (or get permission) when posting!

Advertising

Philadelphia Pawn Shop
The best real estate agent in Montgomery County
The best T.38 Fax provider
Epps Beverages and Beer, Limerick, PA
Sal's Pizza, Elkins Park
Burholme Auto Body, Philadelphia
Coles Tobacco, Pottstown
ERM Auto Service, Glenside
Glenside Collision
Moorehead Catering, Trappe
Salon 153, Bala
Dominicks Auto Body, Phoenixville

   Undertoad  Wednesday Jul 24 02:07 PM

7/24/2002: Space highway



Voila the artist's rendering of the Interplanetary Superhighway. What is it really? It's a new use of something called "Lagrange points".

The Earth has a gravitational pull, constantly pulling things towards it. So does the moon and so does the sun. Lagrange points are places where all the gravitational forces are pulling at roughly the same level; if both the Sun and Earth are pulling, there's a point in space where both are pulling the same amount, so if you were there you would just sit there and not move. Or you could just move slightly into the force of gravity and propel yourself in a particular direction. Or you could just save fuel by only travelling in the areas where gravity is reduced by competing bodies.

The forces and the Lagrange points have been understood for a while now, but only recently have they come up with the idea of using the forces to help save fuel and move from point to point. If you were really good at it, you could use the points to manuever without fuel at all, but we're not that good at it yet. But scientists think that asteroids that have struck the earth have in fact used the superhighway (accidentally), including the asteroid that supposedly killed the dinosaurs.



warch  Wednesday Jul 24 05:13 PM

Not quite a cloverleaf, kind of a hairy looking intersection to the west of earth, may cause backups. Remember: Safe driving is no accident.



MaggieL  Wednesday Jul 24 06:12 PM

I just hope the Vogons aren't reading this thread.



bartman  Thursday Jul 25 10:58 AM

as long as they don't make us listen to poetry, we'll be ok.....



Bitman  Thursday Jul 25 09:46 PM

"OK"??

As long as you consider being vaporized into tiny particles "ok," sure.

I still don't know what to make of this .. we've been sending probes to other planes, surely they've known about gravity wells all along? This sort of thing is fine if you don't mind taking 20000 years to get there, but I'd prefer something a little quicker.



MaggieL  Friday Jul 26 01:01 AM

Re: "OK"??

Quote:
Originally posted by Bitman

I still don't know what to make of this .. we've been sending probes to other planes, surely they've known about gravity wells all along?
I just don't think connecting the highway metaphor with Earth in their minds is A Good Idea. It will all end in tears....
Quote:

This sort of thing is fine if you don't mind taking 20000 years to get there, but I'd prefer something a little quicker.
Um....20,000 years should be way more than is needed to get anywhere in-system by this method. You are expected to bring *some* momentum of your own, of course.


node  Friday Jul 26 02:57 PM

So that's what a Lagrange point was. In a game called Freespace 2 they were basically Babylon 5-esque jump points - seems they're not quite that exciting or useful in real life.



Your reply here?

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: a bunch of interesting folks talking about everything. Add your two cents to IotD by joining the Cellar.