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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 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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