Electromagnetic Propulsion Potential to Interplanetary Travel

One of the main challenges that face interplanetary travel is the production of very large velocity changes, necessary for travel between planets in the solar system. The Sun’s gravitational pull affects how spacecrafts move. The farther from the sun the slower the spacecraft and the faster they are closer to the sun. Additionally, two planets have different distances from the sun and this causes a difference on their speeds around the sun. This therefore means that the spaceships traveling closer to the sun must reduce their speed with respect to the sun in order to intercept. For a spacecraft traveling away from the sun, the speed must be increased substantially.

Changes in Velocity

If the spacecraft wishes to enter into the orbit of a given planet, its speed must match the planet’s orbital speed around the sun, normally requiring large changes in velocity. Doing this by brute force to accelerate on the shortest route to the destination and then matching with a given planet’s speed would consume a large amount of fuel. More fuel is also needed to put both the spaceship and the required fuel to take it through its interplanetary journey as this fuel requires to be launched along with the payload. All these factors pose a great pressure on fuel consumption for spaceships. Several techniques, however, have been devised to ensure the reduction of fuel requirements during interplanetary travel.

Electromagnetic Propulsion

The question of how you can carry enough to reach you to the outer space has probably been solved by fuel-conscious scientists at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The folks at the center recently tested an electromagnetic (EM) propulsion drive with the potential to replace the traditional propellant used in space travel. Although this technology has been tested before, scientists at Johnson Space Center are the first to test and conduct such trials under conditions similar to space-in vacuum.

EM drives have over a long time worked great in theory but the technology had been seen to be hindered by certain fundamental principles of physics. This is the main reason why it had take more time to fully attain its stability for real world applications. The key to present success for this drive lay in the quantum vacuum. The practical application for electromagnetic drives to space travel and specifically to space stations was certainly brought closer to reality in 2010 by a Chinese professor, Juan Yang. His research showed that such a drive may provide the needed power to enable the International Space Station to accomplish its tasks without any need for energy re-boosts from visiting vehicles. The main challenge was how to overcome the complexity of propulsion in space.

By performing this test in a vacuum, the team has been able to show that the thrust produced by EM Drives as elucidated by Professor Yang’s research may actually work within the space environment. This is made possible by eliminating the need for a traditional propellant and hence extends the boundaries of interplanetary travel. Interestingly, the technologies required to make EM drives a realistic solution for space travel are already in use on high-power communication satellites.

Additional tests need to be carried out, however, to study and understand the magnetic interactions of the power feeding lines used mostly for the liquid metal contacts. Nevertheless, scientists have already observed thrusts that have made it closer to the magnitude of the actual predictions. This has been achieved after eliminating the possible error sources that should warrant further research and investigations into the phenomena. Other tests that will be required include further vacuum tests, better magnetic shielding, and improved EM Drive models with higher electronics and Q factors that allow tuning for optimal operations.

EM Potential

Other technologies for interplanetary travel have been proposed while others have been tested and developed. All this is done with the aim not just to save fuel but significantly offer faster travel options to Honmann transfers. More are still just theoretical but some have seen through successful missions such as the ion drive used by Deep Space 1 mission. If all goes as planned, EM Drives have the potential to facilitate future space flight. This technology has the ability to offer travelers a 70-day excursion to mars, and about 9-month expedition to Saturn. And for those looking to travel closer home, the innovation would make the moon just four hours away.

Well, that’s it for now, but on totally random side note, I need to hire a painter. If you know of a good one in the Peoria area, shoot me a note!

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Learn about the life cycle of stars

You can say that stars are like human beings. For example; they are born, they live their life and finally, they die like humans. The similarities between the life cycle of stars and human beings end there because the way stars are born, live and die are totally different from the life on earth.

The collapse of the gas clouds

The life cycle of stars start with nebula and it is known as the birthplace of stars. Nebulae can be described as clouds of gas and dust in the space. These types of gas clouds float in a galaxy for many years; in fact, millions of years and at some point of time, certain events result in the collapse of these clouds under their own gravity. It can be a collision of galaxies and during this collision; regions of cold gas are given the kick they require to begin the collapse. Other events like shockwave of a supernova passing through a region can also lead to the collapse of the gas clouds. The collapse breaks the cloud into small pieces and it can be said that each one of these collapses inward on itself. Each piece becomes a star and during the collapsing process, each unit heats up due to the gravitational energy. The resultant conservation of momentum from the individual units causes it to spin as well.

The birth of protostars

Since the stellar materials pull together with increased force, the heat rises up enormously and such a situation leads to further gravitational collapse. That is how protostars are formed and the temperature levels of protostars with adequate matter come around 15 million degree centigrade. A circumstellar disk of additional material surrounds protostars and some of this continues to spiral inward to cause the layering of additional mass onto the star. The remaining part stays in place and over a period time, it forms a planetary system. The duration of the protostar phase of stellar evolution comes around 100,000 years.

The emergence of T Tauri stars

T Tauri stars represent the intermediate stage between a protostar and a main sequence star. The formation of these types of stars takes place when materials stop falling onto the protostar. Generally speaking, they release a lot of energy and T Tauri stars look extremely bright as well. The gravitational energy from the collapsing material account for the brightness and energy and, it can be said that the central temperature of a T Tauri star is not adequate enough to support fusion at its core. The life span of these stars comes around 100 million years as well. In that amount of time, I could clean my carpet at least twice!

The evolution of Main Sequence stars

Main sequence stars are one of the most important components in the life cycle of stars. Around 90% stars including the sun are main sequence stars and they fuse hydrogen atoms to convert them into helium atoms. This exothermic reaction provides more heat and that is exactly why these types of stars release a lot of energy. The process of energy release begins with the gamma rays in the core and on their way out of the star, the wavelength comes down significantly. The lifespan of a main sequence star heavily relies on the mass of the star and comparatively less massive stars like red dwarfs may last hundreds of millions and even trillions of years. A shorter lifespan can always be associated with biggest stars and they last around a few billion or million years.

The formation of Red Giant stars

During the course of a red giant star’s life span, it converts hydrogen into helium at its core and this process reduces the availability of hydrogen fuel. Eventually, the internal nuclear reactions stop and the star starts contracting inward through gravity. This situation heats up the shell of hydrogen around the core to ignite fusion and the star brightens up with increased vigor. This condition results in the outward expansion of the outer layers and quite naturally, the size of the star increases many times. Over a period of time; the temperature and pressure at the core fuses helium into carbon and at this point, the red giant star begins contracting. Then, it is no longer known as a red giant star.

White dwarf

When a star does not have adequate gravitational force top fuse carbon, the helium level at the core comes down significantly and finally it becomes totally inactive. In other words, the star is dead. Such a star ejects its outer layers into space and contracts down to become a white dwarf. Finally, the star cools down to become the background temperature of the universe and this process takes hundreds of billions of years.


Various studies have been conducted to study about the life of stars and most authentic studies clearly convey that these 5 stages can always be associated with the life cycle of stars.

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Black Holes in Space

The term ‘black hole’ was invented in the year 1969 by an American scientist called John Wheeler. This term can be used to describe a region in space, where the gravitational pull is extremely strong, making it impossible for nearby objects to escape, not even light. This object is formed at the end of a star’s life cycle. Here is more information about these celestial objects.


Nearly all galaxies have super-massive black holes, but in order to understand the formation their formation, we first need to first understand the life cycle of the stars. A star is formed when a lot of gas, mostly hydrogen, begins to suffer from a collapse in itself because of its gravitational attraction. When the gas gets contracted, its atoms bump into each other more and more until the gas temperature rises. Finally, the gas gets so hot that when hydrogen atoms bump into each other they don’t get too much separated from each other. Instead, they fusion and form the helium. The heat produced from this reaction is like a controlled explosion of a hydrogen bomb, making the star shine. This supplementary heat increases the pressure of the gas until it becomes enough to balance the gravitational attraction, and the gas ceases to get contracted. Basically, it is just like a balloon.

So, there is a balance between the pressures of the inner air, trying to produce the filling up with air of the balloon. The star will remain stable during which the heat coming out of the nuclear reactions balances the gravitational attraction.

According to Albert Einstein general theory of relativity, the gravity is a geometric property of space and time (space-time), which is related to the subject’s energy, mass and momentum. So, when a star of huge mass, momentum and energy, is compressed into a compact small space, an infinite space-time and huge gravitational pull is created. This space-time curvature caused by the massive gravity is so big that even light gets sucked into this space. When a star meets such a face, it is called a black hole.

Facts about a Black Hole

  1. Based on Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, objects falling on black holes never reappear. The gravity is so massive and so powerful, that a gravitational time dilation happens, which causes time to stop.
  2. A black hole has two sections; singularity and event horizon. The singularity is the core, while the horizon, also known as point of no return, is its surface. For anything to get sucked, it has to be in the vicinity of the event horizon, otherwise, it will not be sucked in. Singularity is the point of suction where the density is maximum but the volume is zero. This is also the point of infinite space-time curvature.
  3. Over time, black holes shrink in size as they constantly emit x-ray radiations. After some time, the holes nearly evaporate.
  4. Its mass and size (radius of the event horizon) are directly proportional to one another. For example, if one black hole is 10 times heavier than another, its radius will also be 10 times larger than the other. The radius of this event horizon is known as the Schwarzschild radius.
  5. Only big stars, 10 – 15 times as big as the sun, can transform into black holes. This is because, the big stars get compressed to the Schwarzschild radius. The smaller stars can only be reduced to neutron stars or the white dwarfs.
  6. There are two types of black holes; stellar and super massive. A stellar is a small one, formed when a star collapses. A supermassive black hole is the largest type of black of hole. It is an aggregation of many black holes and might contain a million to trillion suns! A supermassive black hole is found in center of all massive galaxies.

Effects on Earth

Supermassive black holes can be terrifying and destructive elements in the universe. What’s more, their impacts on nearby objects like stars and planets can be extremely huge. Astronomers are confident that in our milky way galaxy, there is a supermassive black hole at the center. The black hole in our galaxy is 26,000 light years away from solar system and contains the mass of about 4 million suns crushed down in a single point by its gravity. The closer you get, the stronger the gravity gets.

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Latest And Interesting Facts About Orion Nebula

The famous and one of the brightest nebulae situated in the Milky Way is the Orion Nebula. It is also popularly known as M42, Messier 42 or even NGC 1976. You can see this diffuse nebula even with the help of the naked eye at night. This nebula is quite large and is spread across a diameter which is approximately 14 light years. It is one among the most photographed objects in the night sky which looks great in photographs. Messier 42 is located at a distance of some 1,500 light years away from the earth. There are many interesting facts about this nebula.

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Orion Nebula is visible from both the Northern Hemisphere as well as Southern Hemisphere. But the time of locating the nebula is very much important. The best time to locate it in the night sky is the winter months of the Northern hemisphere when it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • This constellation is mainly visible due to the 3 bright stars located in the short and straight row. These 3 stars represent the Orion’s sword. This makes it easier for you to located or sport the Nebula.
  • This huge nebulous cocoon is still giving birth to some thousands of stars. It has also revealed a lot about the process of forming stars from collapsing of clouds, dust and gas.
  • Orion Nebula is mainly consisted of super giant stars which are blue in color. But one among the most notable exceptions is the Betelgeuse which is a red super giant star located at the shoulder of this nebula.
  • The largest start of this M42 constellation is the Betelgeuse which is some 1000 times bigger than the radius of the sun. Even the brightest star of this constellation is named as Rigel which emits 100,000 times the energy emitted by sun and is also 40,000 times brighter than that of the sun.
  • Some of the recent observations done by the Hubble Space Telescope have shown the birth of some of the stars. Many stars have been seen in different forms and stages of birth within the nebula.

Characteristics Of Orion Nebula

M42 is often depicted as the fighting bull as it seems to be so. Even it is the home 2 meteor showers. Both of these meteor showers are associated with the debris and dust trace left behind by the Hailey’s comet. Another truth about this nebula is that the stars of this constellation are gradually moving apart. But you can still locate it and recognize it as it is located at a great distance from the planet earth.

There are some of the main stars located in this constellation. These are – Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Meissa, Alnilam, Saiph, Alnitak, Rigel, Mintaka etc. Locating the constellation is different from Northern hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. There are many more interesting facts about this constellation which are constantly coming getting exposed. Updates about this constellation are constantly coming. The brightest part of the nebula is actually the luminous part of many newborn shining stars that are formed from this Nebula only. The most important portion of nebula is nothing but the opaque Orion Molecular cloud which we cannot see. This is a gigantic clump of highly cold gas and the mass is about 200 times the mass of the Sun – enough to tow along quite a bit of matter. You may not believe this fact but this is very much true.


The earliest depiction of this constellation is from the prehistoric age where the mammoth ivory carving was found in an Ach Valley in Germany in the year 1979. Accordingly to the eminent archaeologists, this is about some 32,000 to 38,000 years ago. There are many myths associated with the Orion Nebula. The distinctive pattern of it can be traced and recognized in many cultures around the world. The pattern is also used as a symbol in the modern world.

There are many features of this nebula and is characterized by 7 of the brightest starts that form a shape more or less like hourglass. Besides the stars, it also has a belt known as The Belt of Orion, head, North Arrow, Club and shield. All these together make the nebula named Orion. This is quite an interesting feature and there are many things to learn about this constellation. In fact researches are still going on regarding this.

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Saturn and Its Rings

Saturn remains the 2nd biggest planet in the solar system. It is also known as the 6th planet away from the sun. Cronus remains the Roman name for Saturn. In the Greek mythology, it simply means the lord of the Titans. The term Saturn evolved from the English word called Saturday. Visible to the naked human eye, the farthest planet from Earth is called Saturn. The most outstanding properties of the planet Saturn can only be visible through a telescope and is called the Saturn’s rings.

There are other gas giants in the solar system such as Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter with rings as well. Nevertheless, the Saturn’s rings remain the most outstanding. Is your quest for Saturn and its rings? Are you searching for the best information that reveals Saturn and its rings? Reading through the rest part of this article will help you discover the benefits of Saturn and its rings.

Saturn’s Physical Features:

From research and feasibility study, it is important to know that Saturn can be counted among one of the well-known gas giants in the solar system. It is basically made up of helium and hydrogen. With the largeness of Saturn, it can comfortably hold over 760 Earths. Saturn is bigger than any other planet except Jupiter. However, it is approximately ninety-five times bigger than Earth. Of all planets in the solar system, Saturn has the lowest density. It is the only planet with less density than water. Saturn will float if there were a bathtub big enough to hold it.

The atmosphere of Saturn displays the gold and yellow bands. This is simply the product of super-fast winds found in the top atmosphere. It can suddenly reach up to 1,100 mph of its equator. It is as well combined with the planet’s interior heat rising feature.

Apart from Jupiter, Saturn spins faster than any other planet in the solar system. On this note, it can complete a rotation approximately 10-1/2 hours. With this fast spinning feature, Saturn can easily flatten at its poles and bulge through the equator. Saturn is seen to be wider or bigger with 8,000 miles at its equator than between the poles.

The giant hexagon circling its north pole remains Saturn’s most recent curiosity. This makes each side of Saturn 7,500 miles across. This size is large enough to fit almost 4 times inside of the Earth.

Saturn’s Rings:

In 1610, Saturn’s rings were first discovered by Galileo Galilei. Saturn’s rings appeared like arms or handles from Galileo’s telescope. To propose that Saturn has a thing flat ring, it took the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens a great deal. This was because he had a more powerful telescope.

Saturn actually has several rings created of billions of particles of rock and ice. This was affirmed from astronomers with even a more powerful telescope. The rings range in size from a grain of sugar to the largeness of a house. Studies have shown that the biggest ring range up to two hundred times the diameter of the planet. The rings emerged via the left over from shattered moons, asteroids, and comets. These rings also traveled a long way thousands of miles from the planet. The main rings retain a thickness of about 30 feet. In some of the rings, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft unleashed vertical formations. Ridges displayed about 3km of height and particles piling up in bumps.

In the order they were discovered, the rings are basically named alphabetically. With one main exception created by the Cassini Division, the rings are relatively close to each other and maintain a gap of 2,920 miles wide. A, B, and C are the main rings working out from the planet. A and B are being separated with the Cassini Division. The extremely faint D ring remains the innermost part of the planet Saturn. The outermost to date in 2009 can cover a billion Earths within it.

In Saturn’s rings, some mysterious spokes have been discovered. They can disperse and form over a few hours. Studies have shown that these spokes contain electrically charged sheets of dust-sized components formed by small meteors. These meteors will impact the electron beams and rings from the planet’s lighting. With the few points explained in this article, you are sure to discover the comprehensive details of Saturn and its rings.

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