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3000 AD

Purely biological humans are typically 7ft tall now, with lifespans of 120+*

For centuries now, the technological singularity has produced enormous wealth and prosperity throughout the solar system. Across-the-board improvements in healthcare, education and living standards have led to humans evolving into a race of giants – 7ft tall, muscular and highly athletic, with lifespans of 120+. Note that this lifespan refers to purely biological (non-cyborg) humans, who comprise a small minority by now. The vast majority of citizens have opted for genetic engineering and biotechnology upgrades that offer practical immortality.

 

 

The Pillars of Creation are no longer visible from Earth

The Pillars of Creation were vast, towering formations of interstellar gas and dust – part of the Eagle Nebula – located around 7,000 light years away from Earth. They became famous in the late 20th century when the Hubble Space Telescope observed them in detail for the first time, showing a trio of dramatic and eerily beautiful structures. These pillars, the tallest being seven light years in height, functioned as "stellar nurseries" for newly-born stars.

Later observations in the infrared part of the light spectrum revealed a nearby cloud of hot dust, believed to be a shock wave produced by a supernova. This was gradually destroying the pillars and blowing away their contents.* The appearance and movement of the cloud suggested that it would have destroyed the pillars about 6,000 years previously, in 4000 BC. However, given the finite speed of light – and the distance of 7,000 light years to the Pillars of Creation – it would take until the year 3000 AD for this destruction to be visible from Earth.*

 

Click to enlarge

pillars of creation destroyed 6000 years ago

 


3100 AD

Humanity is becoming a Type 2 civilisation on the Kardashev scale

The ongoing growth of AI has allowed the manipulation of matter on scales barely dreamed of before. The largest structure now being constructed in space is a Dyson Sphere.* This hollow shell is of such gargantuan proportions that it fully encloses the Sun, capturing all of its solar energy output.

 

dyson sphere tng
© Ashkan Ghaffari | Dreamstime.com

 

Under the direction of a Godlike superintelligence, vast swarms of automated, self-replicating ships are building it, using material from various asteroid fields and regions further beyond such as the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. The sphere can harvest some 386 yottajoules (YJ) per second.*

The interior walls have a gravitational field of 1G and are made from wholly new states of matter that were unknown to science in previous centuries. These can withstand the colossal tensile forces required to maintain structural integrity. This curved, impossibly large surface – equivalent to many millions of planet Earths – is becoming a habitat for many sentient lifeforms, with portions being terraformed and given stable atmospheres, oceans and landmasses. A sizeable percentage of citizens are now migrating to these strange artificial worlds. This includes a diverse mix of biological humans, as well as transhumans, synthetics, clones, androids, sentient animals and other communities. A series of additional Dyson Spheres are being constructed around neighbouring star systems – some even larger.

Having begun its journey to the stars in the 22nd century, humanity is reaching a landmark in its exploration of space. A region nearly 1,000 light years in radius has now been settled (or about 2 percent of the total length of our galaxy).

 

kardashev scale type 2 civilisation civilization solar system future 3000ad 4th millenium dyson sphere shell swarm

 


3500 AD

Polar reversal of the Earth

Polar reversals have occurred many times before in Earth's history - typically every 300,000 years. The last time was around 780,000 BC. This means the planet is long overdue for such an event.

From 1900 onwards, the intensity of Earth's magnetic field was known to be declining by six percent each century. By 3500, the poles are beginning to completely reverse.*

Charged particles from the Sun affect satellites and other near-Earth vessels which lack adequate protection. However, plants and animals on Earth are unaffected. During the reversal, the solar wind induces a sufficient magnetic field in the ionosphere, temporarily shielding the surface in the absence of the normal magnetic field.*

 

polar reversal 3500 earth magnetic field magnetosphere charged particles effects 2012

 

 

The Grand Unification Energy is witnessed

The first particle accelerators were small, terrestrial-based devices. In the early 21st century, they resulted in energies of only a few tera-electronvolts. By the middle of the 4th millenium, however, an accelerator covering the entire perimeter of our Solar System has been built. This becomes the single largest experiment in history – powerful enough to accelerate particles to a state known as the Grand Unification Energy, allowing the very earliest moments of the Universe to be simulated. The electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear force (three of the four fundamental forces) are viewed for the first time at precisely the same strength: becoming effectively different aspects of a single force. Quarks and electrons, too, become the same, achieving another unification.*

 

grand unification energy

 


4000 AD

Computer science is reaching its ultimate potential

The biological and technological descendants of humanity are attaining the perfection of computer science. Millennia of both theoretical and practical testing means that all of the knowledge required for every permutation of hardware and software is now available. New applications can be instantly created in real-time and with zero errors. From this point onwards, computer science becomes obsolete as a field of study – the only "unknowns" left for researchers to discover will be in other areas of science.*

 

computer science ultimate future potential 4000 AD

 


8703 AD

The return of Comet NEOWISE

Comet NEOWISE first came to the world's attention in the year 2020 when astronomers using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope observed its approach towards the inner Solar System. Three months after its official discovery, the object had become visible to the naked eye as one of the brightest comets in the northern hemisphere since Hale–Bopp in 1997.

The Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, USA, confirmed a sodium tail – observed only in very bright comets. It had also developed a second tail. From the infrared signature, astronomers estimated the diameter of the comet nucleus to be approximately 5 km (3 mi).

NEOWISE made its closest approach to Earth on 23rd July 2020, at a distance of 0.69 AU (103 million km; or 64 million mi) while located in the constellation of Ursa Major. At this point, its trajectory placed it above the plane of the ecliptic (the flat, imaginary "disk" on which planets and the Sun sit). The comet passed over the orbits of Mercury, Venus and Earth, before dropping down below the plane of the ecliptic between Mars and Jupiter. A long period comet with a highly eccentric orbit, its return period had been calculated at 6,683 years – meaning the next perihelion would not occur until the year 8703.*

 

comet neowise return future timeline
Credit: NASA

 

 

 

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References

1 Human species 'may split in two', BBC.co.uk:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6057734.stm
Accessed 28th Dec 2008.

2 Famous Space Pillars Feel the Heat of Star's Explosion, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Spitzer Space Telescope:
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/news/249-ssc2007-01-Famous-Space-Pillars-Feel-the-Heat-of-Star-s-Explosion
Accessed 13th April 2015.

3 It may sound incredible but the Pillars of Creation don't exist anymore, Sploid/Gizmodo:
http://sploid.gizmodo.com/it-sounds-incredible-but-the-pillars-of-creation-dont-e-1677857108
Accessed 13th April 2015.

4 Dyson Sphere , Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
Accessed 25th November 2009.

5 Orders of magnitude (energy), Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_%28energy%29#1024_and_above
Accessed 25th November 2009.

6 Extrapolating the current trend to the future suggests that the field intensity will reach zero in approximately 1500 years (ie. the poles will reverse).
See Geomagnetism (page 15), Brock University, Canada:
http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~rcheel/teaching/1F90/Fall-Winter2009-10/PDF/Geomagnetism.pdf
Accessed 8th May 2010.

7 Solar wind induced magnetic field around the unmagnetized Earth, Astronomy & Astrophysics:
https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2004/23/aagb091/aagb091.html
Accessed 21st February 2018.

8 A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
http://www.hawking.org.uk/a-brief-history-of-time.html
Accessed 9th Dec 2008.

9 While some computer industry observers might assume that computer science has already reached its pinnacle, Tennenhouse said he calculated that only 2 percent of the potential of computer science has been realized to date.
"At the current rate of progress it will take another 2000 years to figure out the rest."
See DOD Scientist: Lose the Humans, Wired:
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1999/08/21354
Accessed 12th February 2010.

10 C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), JPL Small-Body Database Browser:
https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=1003667&orb=1#orb
Accessed 25th July 2020.

 

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