Monday 16 July 2018

relativistic astronomy

Ambitious projects like Breakthrough Starshot (previously)—which aims by means of a laser propelled solar sail to achieve a velocity of twenty percent of the light-speed and to reach the nearest star system to our own, Rigel Kentaurus, within two decades—could yield unimaginable scientific data even prior to arriving at their destination, as Universe Today reports, by demonstrating what traveling at low-warp looks like to for the vessel and payload of instruments.
In other words, the voyage itself becomes a practical exercise for the thought-experiment of imagining what a photographer finds in the scope of a camera accelerating to such speeds.  It’s difficult to say how much distortion that this so-called method of Doppler boosting might have, but the speed of the probe should result in observations that overcome—to a degree—the predominating red-shift (caused by cosmic expansion) and turn the light of distant stars bluer and to ranges easier to measure, bringing our picture of the Universe into sharper focus.  Furthermore, testing some of the tenets set forth in the theory we would be wiser for the journey, either reinforcing or causing us to revise our understanding of the Cosmos.