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Space Exploration/space (universe)


Is it possible for a vessel carrying passengers, who are alive, to become completely motionless in space in relation to the universe? For example, by firing attached rockets, the vessel remains motionless in respect to our sun in our solar system. However our solar system is moving in relation to the galaxy. So the vessel remains motionless in respect to our galaxy (milky way). However our galaxy is moving in relation to the universe. So the vessel remains motionless in respect to the universe. But the universe is expanding (still)..... so....would this be a problem of finding the approximate center of the universe and using that point as a reference with which to cease all motion in all directions to that point?

Hi Carl,
Sorry I'm late on this answer, but my new computer was sending allexperts questions to the junk file, and I just discovered the error.

There is no such thing as absolute "rest" in the Universe.... everything is moving relative to everything else.  When the Enterprise is moving through space with the starship Yorktown far behind and following, and Captain Kirk says, "Let's stop here and wait for the Yorktown", what does he mean by that statement???  Stop here... relative to what? That solar system off in the distance?  And where is "here".... location can only be specified relative to some other body!
If the Earth were the only body in the universe, we could not know our motion or direction or location.  Given one other body, then the Earth's velocity and location could only be determined relative to that one other body. So Captain Kirk's statement... "Let's stop here"
is completely meaningless and used only for the enjoyment and understanding of the uninformed.
Also, there is no "center" of the Universe... When the Big Bang occurred, we were all inside
(not outside) it's influence, so we're all in the Big Bang influence, so there is no "center"
anymore than ants crawling around the surface of a ball can "locate" the ball's center.
That's a 2-dimensional example of our 3-dimensional Universe... and we have the added problem
of time, which as you know is different for every part of the Universe, always in the past depending on the distance... and it's passage is determined by the observer's velocity, relative to lightspeed.  So there is no "center" and no absolute rest.
Matter tells space how to curve, and space tells matter how to move, as Einstein said with general relativity.
Hope this helps,
Clear Skies,

Space Exploration

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Tom Whiting


I can answer most questions about space flight and planetary exploration from an astronomy standpoint, but not from a computer or electronics standpoint. No astrology questions please, or questions about alleged UFO identifications.


Astronomy, my main catagory, has been my hobby and pastime for over 50 years. Taught astronomy and meteorology at the University level for over 13 years.

President- Erie County Mobile Observers Group for over 15 years. Also on astronomy catagory for over 8 years.

Astronomy Technology Today and also wrote the "Over Erie Skies" column in our local newspaper for 11 years.

BS Metallurgical Engineering Grove City College, PA Master's Degree, Gannon University, Erie, PA Also retired USAF pilot, 20 years.

Awards and Honors
Discoverer of the mini-coathanger asterism in Ursa Minor; also the mini-dipper asterism up in the bowl of the Little Dipper.

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