Einstein’s theory of general relativity puts a speed limit on all matter in the universe, creating a barrier preventing acceleration from below to above the speed of light.
However, an independent group of scientists, inventors, and engineers called Applied Physics recently proposed the first model for a physical warp drive, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.
LET’S IMAGINE THAT you are in a car with no windows. I know that’s crazy, but just hold on. Although there are no windows, you can see the speedometer. So here is the question. Is it possible to figure out how far you have traveled just by looking at the speedometer? This is a classic physics problem—and we are going to do it in real life. It’s going to be fun.
In his upcoming book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb makes a provocative assertion: The mysterious “cigar-shaped object” that NASA dubbed “1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua” was junk from an alien civilization.
At the center of the Milky Way galaxy, nearly 26,000 light-years away, a cluster of stars circles close to the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*. As these few dozen stars, called S-stars, approach the black hole—which is about four million times more massive than the sun—its immense gravitational force whips them around faster than 16 million miles per hour. In fact, the gravitational pull of Sagittarius A* is so intense that it warps the light from these stars when they stray too close, stretching the wavelengths toward the red part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Continue reading A Star Orbiting in the Extreme Gravity of a Black Hole Validates General Relativity
A human-made object has entered the space between the stars for the second time in history, scientists report. Continue reading It’s Official: Voyager 2 Has Entered Interstellar Space
Traveling to Mars is the next great step in humanity’s space journey. In Hollywood, the recent movie The Martian and television series The First present reaching the Red Planet as more of a near-term logistics challenge rather than a pie-in-the-sky space dream. NASA is currently orienting itself toward a “Moon to Mars” Mission, but the technical hurdles facing a Mars mission are still massive. One of the most difficult challenges is dealing with the dose of radiation any interplanetary astronauts would face. Meghan Bartels at Space.com reports that new data from the European Space Agency (ESA) has refined our model for radiation during the journey to and from Mars, and it doesn’t look good. Continue reading Explorers Will Face Dangerous Amounts of Radiation On Their Trip to Mars