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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 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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