How Far Are We From Time Travel?

Time travel has long-been invoked in works of science fiction. But how close is it to becoming a reality?

Time Travel Black Hole

An artist’s depiction of the center of a black hole. Image Source: NASA

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently revealed his latest project, the Breakthrough Starshot, in which a group of tiny spacecrafts using laser technology will be sent toward Alpha Centauri (the closest star system to ours) at a speed of 100 million miles per hour.

Before Starshot, that trip would take around 20,000 years to complete, but Hawking claims that his revolutionarily fast vessels would be able to make the journey in just 20.

That sounds like a much more manageable time frame — but what if time was no obstacle at all? We’ve already made time travel a reality in movies and novels. But how far are we from that sci-fi future?

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Your World This Week, May 8 – 14

This week in exploration:Take a journey (almost) to the center of the Earth, Pluto’s planethood might be returning, Antarctic dig reveals 71 million-year-old fossils, and researchers attempt to examine why you hate the word “moist” so much.

Live Stream The Mission To The Most Mysterious Place On Earth

Stalked Crinoid

A stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus, found by the Okeanos Exporer during its mission in the Marianas Trench. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

For the last two weeks, and for two months more, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been exploring perhaps the most uncharted, most mysterious, and most alien place on planet Earth: the Marianas Trench. And they’re giving all of us front-row access.

As the NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer surveys this unique ocean trench — the deepest point on Earth, located in the Pacific not too far from China’s coast — you’ll be able to both follow its mission and see the latest photos, maps, and live streaming videos.

At this one-of-a-kind site — nearly seven miles below sea level at some points, with pressure over 1,000 times greater than sea level — even the most experienced researchers don’t quite know what they’ll find. They’ve already found one very weird, glowing jellyfish, and that was just four days into the mission.

Visit the NOAA and feel the thrill of exploring some of Earth’s last truly uncharted territory.

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