Daily Archives: November 20, 2005

Navigating a Changing Universe

Something my wife and I were talking about the other day inspired me to think about navigating the cosmos. I don’t remember our conversation, but I do remember wondering

How can we travel to a star a million light years away if the universe is constantly expanding? It wouldn’t be there once we arrived!

Which led to the general question of navigation in the universe. Even though we’re many, many decades from making these ultra-long exploratory voyages, surely someone must be thinking of these issues now so that when we do need a navigational system, it’s already available.

There is a galactic coordinate system.

(Of course, throughout all, I’m assuming that humans can be put in stasis, that we’re sending probes, robots, cyborgs, or otherwise assuming we can last the hundreds or thousands of years to get somewhere.)

But despite my best efforts at locating an answer, I find none. Has no one thought about it? We think about it with respect to the moon and Mars, but what about shifting galaxies?

Food for thought…