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Can You Really Live On An Asteroid Like The Little Prince?

Can You Really Live On An Asteroid Like The Little Prince?

I have to admit that I’m not that familiar with the story The Little Prince. However, who doesn’t want to know if we could live on an Asteroid? I don’t think you need to know the story to be interested.

The Little Prince

This is a bestselling book about a prince traveler from a far-off asteroid. It was written in 1942, before anyone even knew what an asteroid looked like. Our first glimpse wasn’t until 1971.

The story was written on the basis that an asteroid had gravity, air, and a rose. As the link below says “There’s no point in trying to critique the science here, because (1) it’s not a story about asteroids, and (2) it opens with a parable about how foolish adults are for looking at everything too literally.”

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How Should The Asteroid Be Like In Order That We Can Live On It?

The first property needed would be gravity. In order to have Earth-like gravity, if the radius of the asteroid was 1.75 meters, it would need 500 million tons of mass. That mass is equal to the combined mass of every human on Earth.

Though the gravity would be comparable, something to keep in mind is that there would be tidal forces. Your feet would be heavier than your head. That might feel like a gentle stretching sensation. Remember when you were a child laying down on the merry-go-round with your head towards the center? That’s kind of what it would feel like.

Will The Asteroid Be So Small That We Will Fall Out Of It (Or “Escape The Surface”, As Scientists Prefer To Call It)?

The velocity for us to escape the surface would be 5 meters per second.

That is less than a sprint, but more than a slow walk. The article explains it best by saying if you can’t dunk a basketball, you wouldn’t be able to escape this asteroid by jumping off it.

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The article goes on to explain a little bit more about velocity which bears repeating: escape velocity is not affected by the direction that the speed is going, as long as you don’t go toward the planet. This means you could escape by sprinting across the asteroid horizontally and then jumping off a ramp.

If your speed was too slow, you would end up in orbit around it.

The speed of your orbit would be about that of a jog. Every part of your body would be pulling a different way in the orbit. If this happened to something like a moon, it would break apart into rings. Luckily, this would not happen to your body. Your orbit would be plenty chaotic without the rings.

A Real-Life Investigation

These orbits have been investigated by scientists in relation to real-world problems. A paper written by Radu D. Rugescu and Daniele Mortari explored different types of orbits. They showed that large elongated objects follow strange paths around the larger central body. Even the center of their gravity/mass didn’t move in a perfect ellipses. Some examples of the patterns they follow would be pentagonal orbits, or some will crash into the planet.

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The practical application for this investigation was that scientists were looking into whirling tethers to move cargo in and out of gravity wells, acting as a free-standing space elevator. This could transport cargo to and from the moon or pick up a space craft. The challenge explained above with the orbit creates a challenge in making this a reality.

So, while it may seem far-fetched, if you ever do find yourself living on an asteroid, be careful not to race your fellow inhabitants. If you sprint too fast, you will end up in orbit.

Please check out this link and download the book. This particular scenario is under the Little Planet heading. There are many more enjoyable scenarios to explore.

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Featured photo credit: Man With Open Arms on The Top of The Mountain/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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