Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ceres: The ultimate Golf get-away

For those of you that would like to play a few rounds of golf on your vacation, Ceres is hard to beat.

A former Planet, When Ceres was first discovered in 1801 it was classified as a planet for 50 years until being demoted to Asteroid 1, then in the 2006 debate over the classification of Pluto it was briefly considered being classified as a planet until it and Pluto were reclassified as Dwarf Planets.

Ceres offers a lot to the dedicated golfer.

Ceres is large enough for its gravity to give it a spherical shape, this means on the surface you can view a regular horizon. When lining up your drive you will have a clear view and not feel like you are golfing up a steep cliff, or down the grand canyon.

Ceres has a rocky interior covered by a water-ice layer. The ice is at least 60 miles thick and during formation it “bubbled” up bringing clay and sand particles to the surface. As a result the surface of Ceres is nice hard clay, making an excellent driving range.

Ceres has a tenuous atmosphere that was thicker in the distant past, this atmosphere would have caused the small sand and dust particles to blow into low lying areas making excellent sand traps.

The escape velocity on Ceres is 1,119.6 mph so it will keep even the best golfers drive on the Dwarf Planet but still allow a good golfer to hit a 60 – 70 mile line drive.

Ceres is relatively warm –38 degrees so a golfing space suit wouldn’t need the heavier layers of protection necessary in other parts of the solar system.

For a really exciting round of golf, Ceres does occasionally get hit by other asteroids. These asteroids can break through the 60-mile ice layer and bring water to the surface, which will boil in the near vacuum until a layer of ice forms to cover it.

So for brief periods Ceres offers boiling water hazards.

Things to talk to your travel agent about.

Ceres is roughly 1,000 times the distance from the Earth as the Moon, so a Space Craft traveling at speed of the Apollo spacecraft would take roughly three years to travel to Ceres. Unless you don’t mind spending 6 years traveling for a golf get-away (I know some golfers who would find that a reasonable trade off) you might want to look into getting a faster ship.

Ceres may have a water “Ocean” but it is under 60 miles of ice and its atmosphere is nearly non-existent, so make sure your travel arrangements include such amenities as food, water and oxygen.

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