By NemesisReloaded 25 Comments
In Dragonball Z Episode 37 and Manga Chapter 244 Mr Popo shows Bulma the space ship that Kami/Piccolo arrived on Earth in. In both They use the word "Piccolo" to open and close the door and Mr Popo translates Bulma's command to fly to Jupiter.
Now, while I don't normally like to use the anime for a time-frame because it slows down and speeds up the flow of time for the benefit of the viewer, I'm going to use it on this occasion as if each second of the show is a second in real time because Bulma is in this scene and she's constantly doing things in it.
The Characteristics of Planet Namek
1. According to Dragonball Z Episode 53 and Manga Chapter 264, the Planet Namek has 3 Suns:
2. Bulma has no problem walking around the planet, therefore we know it has something close to Earths gravity.
3. Because Namek has liquid water, we know it exists in the "habitable zone" of its stars.
Speed of the Ship
In the anime, it takes Kami's ship 57 seconds to take Bulma and Mr Popo to Jupiter. Jupiter is the 5th planet away from the Sun in our Solar System. At it's closest, Jupiter is 588 million km away from Earth. At it's farthest, Jupiter is 968 million km away from Earth. At it's farthest, the Sun would be in between the two planets, so its unlikely Jupiter would have been in this location relative to the Earth.
Note: It's actually not as simple as the diagram above because both orbits are elliptical, not circular, but it works for demonstration purposes
If Kami's ship made either of these distances in 57 seconds, then the speed range is:
- Lowest - 10,315,789.47 km/s - 34.41C
- Highest - 16,982,456.14 km/s - 56.65C
Distance to Namek
In both the manga and the anime it took Kami's space ship 37 days to make the journey from Earth to Planet Namek. This does represent a margin of error since we dont know if it was exactly 37 days or a few hours either side of that time-frame, but for the sake of argument, I will use exactly 37 days with a 12 hour margin of error.
Using the high and low speeds of Kami's ship, its possible to determine how far away from Earth Planet Namek actually is. If the ship travels 588 million km in 57 seconds, then that's an average of 10,315,789.47 km/s. There are 3,600 seconds in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 37 days to this journey, so:
- Low speed distance - 32,977,515,789,473.7 km - 3.486 lightyears +/- 0.047 lightyears
- High speed distance - 54,289,515,789,473.7 km - 5.739 lightyears +/- 0.078 lightyears
Potential Real Stars
In the real world, scientists are able to determine a stars size, type, distance and in some circumstances, if it has planets and how much mass those planets have. When it comes to the stars around our Solar System, Space.com has a handy infographic:
I cut the list short of the 53 that were on it, because as it turns out I'm only interested in the very top of the list.
There is but one solitary star that fits in the range of 3.486 - 5.749 lightyears, whether or not you account for the 12 hour margin of error, and that is Alpha Centauri which is between 4.22 and 4.3 lightyears from Earth (depending on position in orbits)
Alpha Centauri, believe it or not, is a binary star system with an orbiting 3rd star. Alpha Centauri as a system, has 3 stars:
- Alpha Centauri A
- Alpha Centauri B, and
- Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri)
Of those three stars there only one confirmed planet among them, and it belongs to Proxima Centauri. This planet is designated Alpha Centauri Cb (or Proxima Centauri b). It has an estimated mass of 1.27x Earths Mass and exists within the Habitable Zone of it's star, meaning it has a surface temperature that can support liquid water.
If you use a density scale of the largest rocky celestial bodies of our solar system as a guide, Proxima Centauri b would have a surface gravity of between 1.128G and 1.936G, meaning it would be possible for humans to walk on its surface. With a given mass, Promixa Centauri b would exist on the below graph anywhere on the darker blue line:
Given it's Earth-like mass and molten core, it's more likely to have a lower density and be toward the 1.128G end of the gravity range.
All Things Considered
Given that both Namek and PCb
- have 3 stars,
- are in the habitable zone
- have an Earth-like gravity a human could live on, and
- exist between 3.486 - 5.749 lightyears from Earth
I do believe that Planet Namek is in fact real and is actually the planet Proxima Centauri b.