h a l f b a k e r y
This is what happens when one confuses "random" with "profound."
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So, high-powered satellite with hyper-precise hyper-
long-range laser etching capability... nah, scratch that, the
comet is probably rotating in some random fashion that'll
the writing a scrawl.
Maybe there's a way to figure out its rotational axis and
so that the laser
can do some dot matrix style letters.
Yeah okay so the Comet's surface will burn it off as it gets
closer to the sun. Maybe we can zap it as it's getting
Too bad we missed Neowise. An Oort cloud wanderer
been the perfect candidate.
I suppose we could just spell it out on Mars with a rover.
where's the challenge in that?
Maybe we could just build a comet? Glue together some
junk onto an engine that we lift?
Now HA [AusCan531, Jun 22 2021]
Missions to comets
[a1, Jun 22 2021]
An artificial comet
Barium put on a good show [a1, Jun 22 2021]
Departing in 2031 for Anaheim. Azusa, and
Oort Cloud? [a1, Jun 23 2021]
Elon might try this
[a1, Jul 04 2021]
Asteroid explorer carries writings [a1, Jul 13 2021]
||"Kilroy was here" is a bit... common.
Needs to be something at least a little mysterious, like
(perhaps) half a croissant?
||// ... spell it out with a Mars Rover ... But where's
challenge in that? //
||Weather. On Mars you'd have to pick a time and
where seasonal dusty winds won't scour it away.
||Likewise on marking up a comet. Not just that you
it after perihelion, but long enough after so it's
outgassing. THAT'S gonna be a challenge - no
coma, no tail,
gonna be hard to hit what you can't see.
||There's nothing else for it - Leave Earth orbit and
thing. Either to land on it or burn it from a close-in
||Partially baked on the animated series "The Tick". The
villian Chairface, started writing his name on the moon using
a laser before he was interrupted by the hero. The moon
said "CHA" for awhile until The Tick arranged for the "C" to
be erased. As far as I know, it's been "HA" ever since. [link]
||// Maybe we could just build a comet? //
||Sure. Getting from Earth TO a cometary orbit is
possible <link>? Its a long trip though. If you ever expect to
see your comet again (or even for your grandchildren to see
it), send it to the Kuiper Belt -- Oort Cloud it too far.
||And dont build it of typical space junk, thatll never
develop a coma or a tail. Pack a block of water ice, dry ice,
or other volatile solids into an insulated casing for the
outbound trip. At aphelion, eject the casing so your comet
will properly flare when dives back towards the sun.
||Common for a particular planet in the unfashionable
portion of the galaxy, perhaps. But not for comets on
their way to the Oort cloud.
||You can tag 2014-UN271 for a ride out to the Oort
<link>. Youve got a few years to get ready.
||Good call, a1. I was thinking of that myself. Also, with an orbital period measuring in the millions of years, there has to be a good science fiction story in there somewhere, surely?
||[DrBob] i think the idea is to leave a mark for
someone else to see
if not our descendants, then
visitors from somewhere else. Given the
timeframe and volatility of cometary surfaces,
dropping off a monument or artifacts of some kind
might suit that purpose better than laser graffiti.
||Maybe a pictorial plaque, or some phonograph
records or CDs, flags, coins, stamps, cremains of a
something like that.
||Any such plaque must include the classic nose-over-the-wall image.