The Reality of Our Interstellar Spaceship

By UPLIFT on Monday May 18th, 2015

For years I have been saying that we live on a spaceship travelling at 72,000 kilometres an hour on a trip that circles the Milky Way Galaxy.

More accurately our spaceship includes all of the planets in our solar system traveling through space together, powered by the energy and gravitational pull of the sun. This video (below) represents what the spaceship looks like as it travels through space. It takes our spaceship 220 million years to make one trip around the galaxy. The rotational speed of the Galaxy is about 220 kilometres per second.

The Helical Model – Our Solar System is a Vortex

Everything we are on or connected to us, is moving at incredible velocities through space and through time.

What I like about this video representation is that it shows our movement through space more accurately than conventional thought which pictures the planets simply revolving around the sun. The planets don’t revolve. The movement is more like a vortex than a revolution. In this video you can see the spaceship we are travelling upon moving ever forward.

The Earth revolves at the speed of 1,074 kilometres per hour and our planet moves around the Sun at a speed of 108,000 kilometres an hour.

The Sun is not orbiting the Galaxy on a three dimensional plane. It (and us) are actually moving out of the plane at a speed of 7 kilometers per second. Currently the Sun lies 50 light-years above the mid-plane of the galaxy, and its motion is steadily carrying it further away. However we won’t shoot off into the blackness of space because the gravitational pull of the stars in the Galactic (Milky Way) plane is slowing down the Sun’s escape. The astronomer Frank Bash estimates that in 14 million years the sun will reach its maximum height above the Galactic disk. From that 250 light-year position, it will be pulled back towards the plane of the Galaxy. Passing through, it will travel to a point 250 light-years below the disk, then oscillate upwards again to reach its present position 66 million years from now. We crossed the plane 2 million years ago. We are currently in the thick of the galactic disk and our view of distant regions is largely blocked by dust but 10-20 million years from now, our motion will allow a full view of our starry galaxy.

You are hereYou are here

Our planet is connected to the primary sphere, the sun, which provides the power to bring light and warmth and photosynthesis to us allowing us to see, to be warm and to eat. On the planet itself, the biosphere is the life support system maintained by a crew of Earthlings that keep things running.

We humans are not crew. We are passengers having a good time entertaining ourselves. The crew are the bacteria, the plankton, the plants, the bees, the fish etc that keep things going, making it possible for us to live on Spaceship Earth.

Our problem now is that we the passengers are killing off the crew at an alarming rate. Phyloplankton that provides 80% of the planets’s oxygen has been reduced by 40% since 1950. In other words our life support system is collapsing.

The laws of ecology will remedy the situation if we do not, however if we remedy it before the consequences of our folly kick in, the results will be far more pleasant than if we wait for nature to rectify the damage we have done.

The last time that our solar system was where it is now was 220 million years ago. It was the beginning of the Triassic. You would not recognize the Earth back then. That was the time of Pangaea Super continent, the beginning of the age of the dinosaurs, an age that lasted until 65.2 million years ago. For 155 million years the dinosaurs ruled this sphere. We humans have been around for only 250,000 years, nowhere even close to the longevity of the dinosaurs.

And if our species intends to stay around longer than the next century some major changes are in order. The obliteration of species and the diminishment of biodiversity must be stopped. Human population growth must be curtailed. Habitats and entire eco-systems must be restored.

What is our footprint?

We are living in the Anthropocene, the sixth major extinction event of the planet’s living history. But not to worry, nature recovers from major extinction events. It just takes about 18-20 million years. That’s just a short fraction of the overall journey of just one voyage around of the galaxy

Intervening to stop the consequences of human activity is of course for the benefit of humanity and many of the others that live on this spaceship with us. The spaceship will still be here 220 million years from now. The continents won’t look the same of course. The living things on the surface will be radically evolved. But the Earth will abide, the Sun will continue it’s journey for many billions of years more, the Galaxy will travel through space in concert with the billion other galaxies and all will be in harmony, as it always has and always will be in a universe that had no beginning and will never end – the awesome, mysterious, beautiful and amazing reality called infinity.



Captain Paul Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a co-founding director of the Greenpeace Foundation.

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