Is there a possibility of life outside the earth? In the past year, three planets were observed, whose size and relationships are surprisingly similar to our inner solar system - a kind of replica of the Venus-Venus-Earth trio
In a previous article, part of the journey into the future (up to the year 2996) was described by the third millennium science fiction writer Steven Baxter in Herbert George Wells' time machine, with the readers of the British magazine "Focus". This time the journey will come to an end.
The surface of Mars has changed (humans established colonies there and adapted it to their needs), and now its southern half is green and its northern half is covered by a huge blue ocean. But some of its old foundations still remain: huge volcanoes jutting above the thick atmosphere.
Other stars also undergo changes such as Venus, Mercury and the moons of Jupiter. A fast transportation network that spreads across the solar system makes it possible to travel from Earth to Jupiter in about four hours using hot holes and gaps in space. This "subway" theoretically reduces the dimensions of the solar system.
And humanity continues to advance. In the next millennium spacecraft are launched for journeys in other solar systems in space. The fastest spacecraft would need tens of thousands of years to reach the nearest planet Saturn. The first rover to be launched to explore the stars will be a miniaturized robot, perhaps the size of a hockey puck. It will gain momentum at such a rate that it will allow it to send images of nearby stars within decades. The first manned spacecraft will be launched in a few hundred years, but we will not reach the speed of light yet.
The spaceships of the next millennium will become an artificial habitat for generations until they land on a nearby planet. When the ships reach their destination, their crews will find empty stars.
Unfortunately, according to Baxter, no suitor awaits us in them. The diameter of the galaxy will reach one hundred thousand light years. Its rate of expansion will be much slower than the speed of light. The developing colonies will maintain mutual relations between them - we will witness the rise and fall of empires as the migration from Earth to the galaxy will continue unabated.
Now we will jump into the future even further and cross a hundred million years. The entire solar system is inhabited by humans. When you look at the sky at night, you can see this extensive settlement. Rings and bands are observed around each planet. These are colonies that orbit the stars and utilize their full energy output. Humans organized the stars and colonies to meet their needs.
In a hundred million years man is enough to bring about many changes, says Baxter. "Therefore, unfortunately, I am convinced that we will not meet extraterrestrial civilizations between the stars. If these cultures existed, we would already have seen them. "It is difficult for us to understand the people of this age. They don't look human. They will evolve into a more useful form, like a robot: a tree-like mechanical form with limbs that branch out like branches. Some of them will be microscopic. The new humans will be able to live in open space and feed directly from starlight. This way the solar system will be able to sustain a larger population."
As the journey continues, the sun gets hotter. In a billion years we will not be able to continue to exist on Earth. There will not be enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for photosynthesis to occur in plants. Five billion years later the sun will grow into a huge red cloud, and the earth will shrink until it disappears. Humanity could spread to other star systems. But the hydrogen is running out, and after a hundred billion years no more new stars will be formed. After a hundred thousand billion years, the end will come for the last of the stars, which will shrink and become dwarfs.
Another stop on the journey. The universe is now very dark and cold. In space there are dwarf stars in the process of cooling and black holes. Can we still survive? The colonies residing in artificial spheres crown what remains of the stars. But the stock of energy is so thin that an alert life is not possible. Humans will be satisfied with the existence of a virtual reality, with a consciousness embodied in huge computers. The twilight will last for billions of billions of billions of years - compared to which our era will seem as short as a camera flash - but will eventually come to an end.
Last Stop. The matter will crumble, the stars will evaporate. Nothing will be left of the universe, except for black holes. If we don't find a way to extract energy from the expansion of space and time, it will be the end of all ends. We therefore begin the long journey home, to the short, wonderful dawn of the universe.