Monday, 10 June 2013

Journey into space - pulsars as beacons

The future interplanetary travel is unthinkable without the navigation system similar GPS or GLONA - German radioastronomi suggest that as a natural beacon using pulsars, that is. neutron stars that looked a hundred times per second.

Pulsar sends strong electromagnetic radiation in a narrow beam, which every revolution at a time "touches" the Earth. Then the apparatus detects a short pulse of radio, light or X-ray range.

When in 1967. The first radio telescope received signals of pulsars, in the beginning it was a shock: the scientists thought that sending them an alien intelligence. Since then he has discovered about 2,000 of pulsating stars.

Their impulses can be frequent or less frequent, but recur with high frequency. At this capacity, and the idea of scientists based astronomy of the "Max Planck" in Bonn - position the camera, even outside the solar system.

The point is this: to navigate it takes at least three pulsars with different parts of the starry sky.

Each signal varies, depending on the point in space toward which goes spacecraft, "call" each of the three stars will come with some delay after the scheduled arrival. Comparing the delay, it is possible to calculate the coordinates of the aircraft in space. The Germans claim that the location of the spacecraft can be determined with an accuracy of 5 kilometers.

"Five kilometers is solid enough distance. Thing will be attainable in the whole solar system - the size of the solar system are negligible compared to interstellar distances," - said the head of the Department of Physics and evolution of stars of the Institute of Astronomy RAS Dmitry Vibe.

This model should be put into the computer the spacecraft so that the computer will always know where the planet - although spacecraft does not always know where they've located. This requires pulsars.

They show where the aircraft is located, and the computer program that shows the currently on the planet. He knows what he needs to control the flight - said, "Voice of Russia".

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