Starshot hype. It can't, won't work, so forget it.

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Starshot hype. It can't, won't work, so forget it.

Postby Scottish Scientist » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:14 pm

Having caught the end of the Sky at Night on TV, I joined up to scotch the nonsense I heard about Starshot.

No, it can't, won't work, so forget it.

Even if you got a tiny probe that far, it could not send a powerful enough signal back to Earth so we'd never know even if it got there in one piece.

Crazy hype.

On the other hand, if a Russian billionaire offers me $100 million then maybe I'd take his money and tell him what he wants to hear.
Scottish Scientist
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Starshot hype. It can't, won't work, so forget it.

Postby Aratus » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:43 pm

There are lots of shortcomings with the concept. Once it is on its way there is no way to steer it or indeed alter the speed, let alone bring it into orbit. The probe will shoot through the system in hours. If the position of the planet is precisely known, it could be aimed but the margin of error is very small. The tiniest gravitational difference or effects of solar wind and discharges will ensure that when it reaches the star, the planet could be nowhere near. You could send hundreds or thousands of probes launched at intervals I suppose which increases the chance of getting near it. What will be the results of the probe encountering tiny particles while travelling at 20% the speed of light, I wonder ?
. . . and as you say, how do we pick up such a weak signal?

The planet is not going to be 'earth-like' anyway. The programme said as much despite the headline. ( I believe the modern expression is 'click bait'). Its just a way of trying to get people to watch the programme, and for the organisation to get some funding. Miniaturised probes are the future, and that is where the money will go. It is shame they have to resort to 'quack science' to get it, but it seems to be what everyone does now-a-days. :(
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
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