Travelling to Alpha Centauri

Travelling to Alpha Centauri

This popular video by Spacerip looks at the future of space travel to nearby stars. It starts by explaining the discovery that exoplanets can exist around binary star systems like Alph Centauri, our nearest star system. Previously it was thought that binary star systems couldn't harbour exoplanets as the stars would cause any planets to be flung into outer space. We now know this isn't true.

At 4.37 light years away Alpha Centauri is no walk in the park. To put the distance into context if the sun was New York and Chicago was Alpha Centauri then Saturn would be 1 metre from New York. In fact you would need to travel another 30,000 times the distance from Earth to Saturn to reach this star system. Voyager 1 left Earth in 1977 and has been travelling at 55,000 miles per hour but it would take Voyager 1 another 73,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri at this speed.

The video then describes our future in space travel to distant stars. It makes point of the fact that with current rockets you would need more rocket propellant than there is mass in the observable universe to make the trip. This means other engine types need developing. The video looks briefly at some of these engines and then goes into detail about anti-matter engines and the potential they provide for interstellar space travel.

The video is 21 minutes long and has been viewed over a million times. It is well produced and very enjoyable to sit back, watch and dream about what could be.

Find more on: Astronomy News and Science

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