NASA Test Proves Pulsars Can Function as a Celestial GPS

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    In a breakthrough for future deep space exploration, NASA has successfully demonstrated X-ray navigation, a technique that would allow spacecraft to navigate in deep space without human instruction. It’s largely based on pulsars and their beaming of electromagnetic radiation, which can act as cosmic lighthouses.

    Without pulsar navigation, spacecraft must communicate with Earth regularly to confirm their position. But such communication — through systems such as NASA's Deep Space Network, a group of giant satellite dishes — is time-consuming, expensive, and more difficult the farther from Earth a probe travels.
     
  2. WhoMe

    WhoMe [H]Lite

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    Great, now invent a cheap fast way to get there, I'd like to leave next week please. Seems to me though this is yet another thing long used in sci-fi that is now sci-fact...just so long as skynet doesn't become sci-fact I'm happy.
     
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  3. mynamehere

    mynamehere [H]ard|Gawd

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    At the rate things are going it's not hard to imagine which of those things will happen first. If you're really lucky you might be one of the "batteries" powering that starship you just wished for.
     
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  4. viper1152012

    viper1152012 Limp Gawd

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    Just got the image of Johnny 5 (J5) in my head holding out a hand way finding in space
     
  5. Galvin

    Galvin 2[H]4U

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    Aren't pulsars moving?
     
  6. Chimpee

    Chimpee Gawd

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    True, but so do GPS satellites. I am amaze the margin of error of such techniques is 5 kilometers.
     
  7. WhoMe

    WhoMe [H]Lite

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    Not randomly it's to be hoped. It's also relative to very great distance, space is mind-boggling big ;). Everything is moving of course, the universe is expanding and accelerating.
     
  8. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

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    You'd obviously use the pulsars that are moving slowly from our perspective and that have very little parallax due to their extreme distance.

    Edit: Actually not sure about the latter. Maybe you want parallax for better triangulation. Without parallax it would only be good for orientation, not location.
     
  9. Accursed

    Accursed Limp Gawd

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    Navigation by stars (In this case pulsars), I have to think this was a no brainier. Otherwise isn't this what sailors did for the last 2000+ years before GPS.
     
  10. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    ...PBS recently had a two hour show about blackholes. Pretty good actually. The thing is, is that blackholes spit out x-rays too. Imagine getting blackhole x-rays confused for pulsar x-rays and the auto pilot steers you into one. Good bye, wont be seeing you later.:cool:
     
  11. otherweeb

    otherweeb Gawd

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    Yes, but very few sailors could see X-rays and this is intended for waters beyond Earth.
     
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  12. viivo

    viivo Gawd

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    You don't want to be too close to a pulsar anyway, especially the gamma radiation ones. The electromagnetic radiation beams could destroy any sort of spacecraft from great distances.

    Pulsars have always been my favorite galactic phenomenon. Tiny super compressed balls rotating incredibly fast and chaotically, spitting beams of electromagnetic radiation from its poles.
     
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  13. katanaD

    katanaD Limp Gawd

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    whats funny is that this is backwards compared to us sailing the oceans. The oceans we were first out in the waters moving about, then learned how to navigate.. space, we are learning to navigate "waters" we cant even get to yet
     
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  14. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    ...and now the ultimate cool factor. Is that watch atomically synchronized? No, its galactically synchronized from a pulsar in deep space.