In the final chapter of the film Aniara, she was

arriving at an earth-like planet in the constellation Lyra.

Captain Chefone announced their cruising speed would be 64 km/s.

Assuming this was the closest star in Lyra, how fast did she actually travel?

(Please use spoiler notation in your answers!)

  • Don't forget to use the Movie tag to show that you're wanting answers about the film, not the poem (although I suspect a good answer about this film might end up drawing on both) – Valorum Oct 6 '19 at 21:51

This one should be (in theory) quite easy to work out. We know from the final panel that the Aniara traveled for 5,981,407 years before reaching its destination. We also know that its destination was the Constellation Lyra. Unfortunately, this is where the calculations break down a bit since Lyra isn't a place, but rather a cluster of stars that happen to be in the same direction when viewed from Earth, but sitting at dramatically different distances.

Assuming the ship hit a planet at Vega (the brightest and closest star in that constellation, 25 light years from Earth) the ship would have traveled at approximately (approx) 0.000004c (25.05 / 5,981,407), or approximately 1.25km/s.

Assuming the ship hit a planet at Gamma Lyrae (the farthest visible star in the classic Lyran constellation, 620 light years from Earth), the ship would have needed to be traveling at (approx) 0.0001c (619.7 / 5,981,407) or about 31km/s.

This, of course, doesn't remove the possibility that they traveled through Lyra and out the other side and hit something that was merely in the same direction.

  • hat tip to DavidW, who I suspect from his comments wouldn't be happy sharing a car journey with me, for correcting my speed calculations. – Valorum Oct 6 '19 at 22:19
  • Corrected the magnitude of the first number (it was off by 10), you can delete where I showed my work. :) I have no idea how to deal with it, but the time scale (6My) is long enough that most of the stars will have moved a lot in that time. Vega, for instance, will be 12ly closer to the Sun in just 250,000 years! – DavidW Oct 6 '19 at 22:23
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    @DavidW - That seems to be something the film doesn't address in any detail. They're traveling toward a non-fixed point in space at an indeterminate speed. I think we've done reasonably well to narrow it down as far as we have. – Valorum Oct 6 '19 at 22:24
  • She was actually crawling along. Our fastest real ship today travels 192 km/s and could have reached Vega within 39,000 years - short enough to sustain basic microorganisms through the flight. – Vogon Poet Oct 6 '19 at 22:55

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