Astronomer and rocket scientist David Rees, who also plays cricket for Kent Seniors, speculates on where young lovers might go on honeymoon in 50 years’ time.
Built by the Japanese, there’s a place called Chena Hot Springs, near Fairbanks, Alaska, where there is a hotel. It is very close to the Arctic Circle – thus very long, dark winter nights. Special charter flights operate directly into Fairbanks from Tokyo and other Japanese cities!
Japanese honeymoon couples spend a couple of weeks there under the light of the aurora, viewed through special wall-to-wall glass ceilings. Outside in the snow, during the day, there are hot spring baths. If our lovers have any energy left, they can go cross-country skiing in the twilight of the day.
Assuming that we have solved the climate change problem, what might the equivalent trip be in 50 years’ time (allowing plenty of artistic licence)?
The obvious place for honeymooners might be Venus. But it’s hard to come up with anything remotely practical for Venus! It’s an unrelenting and hostile place.
But what about Mars? In comparison, Mars is now only “a minor future challenge”!
On Mars, twilight is “deep blue” – rather than red – the effect of dust in the atmosphere. Again, these special views could be observed through special windows. The Martian Aurora would be overhead, as there is no planetary magnetic field to constrain them to high latitudes. Since there is very little atmosphere to absorb star-light, there would be wonderful views of the night sky.
Future Martian hotels might be crafted and built into romantic Martian Caves, sculpted into the walls of ancient volcanos by torrents of flowing water released from long-lost oceans and lakes. Originally retained by permafrost, these will have been released as Martian global warming breached the permafrost barriers!
Maybe there could be “Ice Hotels” as we have at Jukkasjarvi, near Kiruna, Sweden? On Mars, they could be crafted from river ice – again sourced from permafrost.
There could be special Martian brews – beers and champagne, based on water from the permafrost and other stores.
Come on – use a bit of imagination! The return flight might take a bit longer – six months outbound and six months return – rather than a mere six hours to get from Tokyo to Fairbanks! But you could leave on one Valentine’s Day and return for the next.
And what better way to get to know your new partner!