We know that this i.e. Alpha Centauri C and also called α Centauri C. The probe reaches a marked fraction of It will still have time to take close-up pictures of these exoplanets and then send them back to Earth. It would only take about 20 years to reach the Alpha Centauri system using a photon sail towing a probe weighing a few grams at most and propelled by lasers sent from the ground. So the principle is similar to that already tried in driven by sunlight. A probe initially powered by conventional rocket engines will take nearly 80,000 years to cross Approximately 4 light years separate the triple system of Alpha Centauri from .It is the trio and this exists
Intro video for the Starshot project. Antennas that emit laser waves as powerful as the space shuttle takeoff, form a kilometer-sized grid. Focusing their beams, they emit one pulse per day targeting one or more light veils a few meters wide. The radiation pressure will accelerate the sail, bringing it up to about 20% of the speed of light fairly quickly if the probe and sail weigh less than 10g. A swarm of these probes will leave in 20 years in the direction of Alpha Centauri. Their number will make it possible to ensure the safe arrival of one of them despite possible shocks with grains of dust. © euronews, YouTube
A photon sail should neither rip nor melt
Studies of the probe and its sail to the stars have continued and two papers have recently been published proposing to modify the initial concept of the envisioned photon sail to some extent. She has to bear (An interplanetary kite accelerated by the sun’s radiation). This Japanese Jaxa mission, which is equivalent to or It was launched in 2010 and was very successful.In the future, to ensure the success of the interstellar mission, lasers must produce a stream of Millions of times stronger than the density of the Sun that has already been used in experiments like that of
However, the photon sail that must withstand the pressureA 20-year laser has a size of about three meters to a thickness of a thousand times thinner than the thickness of a sheet of paper.
The researchers, authors of two articles published in It is necessary that the light sail is created from an extremely thin plate of Under the breath of light, molybdenum disulfide swells, taking the form of a , rather than remaining constant as assumed in most previous research. The structure must be curved so that it is approximately as deep as it is wide to support without tearing pressure capable of producing an acceleration thousands of times greater than the acceleration of my ground.
in one The same researchers dealt with a problem The heat generated by a laser beam is at least a million times more powerful than the sun. Even a small portion of the energy dissipated in the sail, if absorbed, could cause it to heat up to the point of melting.
To avoid this, the sail would in fact have to adopt a grid-like structure with holes regularly spaced with respect to the wavelength of the laser photons.
It remains to manufacture this sail and test it with a laser to check whether the researchers’ calculations are correct.
Interstellar exploration comes to fruition with this very promising material
An article published in the Paris Observatory on August 23, 2020
in the same way as a fileIt inflates the sails of the boat, propelling the light sail by the pressure exerted by the light. Traveling outside the solar system, which will soon be no more than a suburb of our dear planet, will soon not be science fiction but reality. how ? Perhaps thanks to the airlines that seem to have the characteristics suitable to make this dream come true. From the International Space Station, like It will make it possible to reach Mars in 60 days of travel and escape from the solar system …
Kind of First manufactured in 2012, it is a file Consists of tangled. It is among the lightest materials known, with a density of only 180 grams per cubic meter, and a density about 7 times lower than We breathe (1225 g/m)3). Another great feature is “darkness”, that is, its ability to absorb light almost completely: less than one photon out of 1,000 is reflected.
On the way to Alpha Centauri
These two properties make it an ideal material for designing optical sails: its great lightness and ability to absorb photon energy allow it to accelerate very efficiently when illuminated. . This could be light from a laser, as in the Breakthrough Starshot concept, or simply sunlight as in this study.
Due to its very low density, a spherical sail with a radius of 5 meters and a thickness of 0.1 mm can carry a load of 55 grams quickly enough to escape from the solar system.
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