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Topic: Interstellar

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  NASA - Warp Drive, When?
This web site focuses on the propulsion related issues, explaining the challenges of interstellar travel, existing propulsion ideas, and the possibilities emerging from scientific literature that may one day provide the desired breakthroughs.
To simplify the presentation for the general public, analogies to familiar science fiction are used.
A brief description of some ideas that have been suggested over the years for interstellar travel, ideas based on the sciences that DO exist today.
rd.business.com /index.asp?epm=s.1&bdcq=interstellar&bdcr=1&bdcu=http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/PAO/warp.htm&bdcp=&partner=2662601&bdcs=nwuuid-2662601-A04193F7-F9BD-8298-6FEC-2EBA63CEDF5F-ym   (399 words)

  Interstellar travel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interstellar space travel is unmanned or manned travel between stars, though the term usually denotes the latter.
The concept of interstellar travel in starships is a staple in science fiction.
Another early proposal for an interstellar propulsion system was the Bussard ramjet, in which a huge scoop would collect the diffuse hydrogen in interstellar space, "burn" it using a proton-proton fusion reaction, and expel it out the back.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Interstellar_travel   (1669 words)

 The Interstellar Medium
Approximately 99% of the mass of the interstellar medium is in the form of gas with the remainder primarily in dust.
Interstellar dust grains are typically a fraction of a micron across (approximately the wavelength of blue light), irregularly shaped, and composed of carbon and/or silicates.
One important probe of the interstellar medium is the distribution of the radioactive isotope aluminum-26.
csep10.phys.utk.edu /astr162/lect/milkyway/ism.html   (1215 words)

 Interstellar Medium
Interstellar gas consists of denser, cooler clouds embedded in hotter intercloud gas.
The interstellar medium is detectable because it emits, absorbs, and reflects radiation.
The remaining 1% of the interstellar medium consists of dust.
www.stormpages.com /swadhwa/stellarevolution/lecture9.htm   (551 words)

 Astronomy Supplement - The Interstellar Medium
Although this suggests that interstellar space is nearly a vacuum, there is a significant amount of matter lying between the stars because of the vast volume of space.
Mixed with the interstellar gas is a very fine dust, whose grains are about the size of the particles that are seen as small flashes in a shaft of light coming through a window.
Interstellar matter is not uniformly spread throughout the Galaxy but is clumped together in interstellar clouds that vary in size and the complexity of their association in our Galaxy.
www.physics.gmu.edu /~jevans/astr103/CourseNotes/ECText/ch16_txt.htm   (6671 words)

 interstellar ramjet
Set against the desirability of achieving speeds for star travel that are a significant fraction of the speed of light is the perennial problem of rocketry — having to carry, in addition to the payload, the reaction mass needed for propulsion.
The interstellar ramjet neatly avoids this problem by harvesting hydrogen for use as a propellant from the interstellar medium.
A modified design, known as RAIR (ram-augmented interstellar rocket), proposed by Alan Bond in 1974, tackles the fusion-reaction problem by using the scooped-up interstellar hydrogen not as fuel but simply as reaction mass.
daviddarling.info /encyclopedia/I/interstellar_ramjet.html   (890 words)

 Nat' Academies Press, Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report (2004)
A voyage by an interstellar probe from Earth to beyond 200 AU could enable the comprehensive measurements of plasma, neutral atoms, magnetic fields, dust, energetic particles, cosmic rays, and infrared emission from the outer solar system, through the boundaries of the heliosphere, and on into the interstellar medium.
An interstellar probe could also directly gather the data that are necessary to address the four principal science objectives (see Chapter 1) of a mission to the border of our galaxy: To explore the nature of the interstellar medium and its implications for the origin and evolution of matter in our galaxy and the universe.
Interstellar Probe could also survey the composition and distribution of dust due to collisions of Kuiper Belt objects and could possibly investigate the nature and evolution of organic material in the outer solar system.
www.nap.edu /books/0309091861/html/29.html   (2712 words)

 Interstellar medium -- Facts, Info, and Encyclopedia article   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
Therefore, it is nearly impossible to see light emitted at that wavelength from a star, because most of it is absorbed during the trip to (The 3rd planet from the sun; the planet on which we live) Earth by Lyman-alpha absorption.
The interstellar medium is usually divided into three phases, depending on the temperature of the gas: hot (millions of (British physicist who invented the Kelvin scale of temperature and pioneered undersea telegraphy (1824-1907)) kelvins), warm (thousands of kelvins), and cold (tens of kelvins).
This "three-phase" model of the ISM was initially developed by (Click link for more info and facts about McKee) McKee and (Click link for more info and facts about Ostriker) Ostriker in a 1977 paper, which has formed the basis for further study over the past quarter-century.
www.absoluteastronomy.com /encyclopedia/i/in/interstellar_medium.htm   (493 words)

 ESA Portal - Focus On - Is life the rule or the exception? The answer may be in the interstellar clouds
This result is consistent with (although of course does not prove) the theory that the main ingredients for life came from outer space, and therefore that chemical processes leading to life are likely to have occurred elsewhere.
In specific chambers in the laboratory they reproduced the common conditions of temperature and pressure known to exist in interstellar clouds, which is, by the way, quite different from our 'normal' conditions.
Interstellar clouds have a temperature of 260 °C below zero, and the pressure is also very low (almost zero).
www.esa.int /export/esaCP/ESA5SQG18ZC_FeatureWeek_0.html   (977 words)

 On the (un)likelihood of Interstellar Travel   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
Opinions on the practicality of interstellar travel diverge, but the negative and positive opinions are seen to stem primarily from the differences in background of those people doing the studies.
SETI researchers think that the degree of dispersion of stars throughout the galaxy, combined with the limitations of interstellar travel as we understand general relativity, effectively preclude the feasibility of extraterrestrial visitation, thus believing that any extraterrestrial intelligence would only be transmitting their love and good wishes to us.
Interstellar travel appears not to be expensive for an advanced economy whose productivity has grown steadily for millennia.
www.nicap.dabsol.co.uk /eth.htm   (2054 words)

 Interstellar Processes
Most have been detected by sensitive single dish observations, but their applicability to a broad range of interstellar physics has not been fully explored because the lines are too weak, and single dish resolutions are insufficient to allow full comparisons with other tracers of the interstellar medium.
In addition to their corrupting effects, interstellar propagation effects are a powerful sub-parsec probe of the interstellar plasma, can provide a tracer of energy input into the ISM, and may be linked to cosmic ray propagation.
The density fluctuations responsible for interstellar scattering have a spatial spectrum.
www.ras.ucalgary.ca /SKA/science/node10.html   (6557 words)

 Voyager - Mission - Interstellar Mission
The mission objective of the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) is to extend the NASA exploration of the solar system beyond the neighborhood of the outer planets to the outer limits of the Sun's sphere of influence, and possibly beyond.
Penetration of the heliopause boundary between the solar wind and the interstellar medium will allow measurements to be made of the interstellar fields, particles and waves unaffected by the solar wind.
The first feature to be encountered by a spacecraft as a result of this interstellar wind/solar wind interaction will be the termination shock where the solar wind slows from supersonic to subsonic speed and large changes in plasma flow direction and magnetic field orientation occur.
voyager.jpl.nasa.gov /mission/interstellar.html   (893 words)

 11.26.02 - Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) Satellite   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) satellite mission is studying the very hot, very low density gas in the vast spaces between the stars in our local astronomical neighborhood.
The material between the stars is known as the Interstellar Medium.
Horsehead Nebula - The dark area in the center of the image is a thick cloud of interstellar dust blocking the light.
www.gsfc.nasa.gov /topstory/2002/1217chips.html   (627 words)

 Interstellar Gas Movie at UNH
Our sun is moving through an adjacent interstellar gas cloud in approximately the direction of the constellation Scorpio, with a speed of about 25 km/sec (900 mph).
On average an interstellar gas atom can travel 100 times the distance between Sun and Earth before it is hit by a solar wind particle.
Interstellar gas is what our sun, the planets, and all the stars in the universe are made from.
www-ssg.sr.unh.edu /tof/Outreach/interstellarmain.html   (590 words)

Determine the interstellar spectra of galactic cosmic rays and their contribution to the ionization, heating, and dynamics of the interstellar medium.
Interstellar dust is, of course, eventually melted, sublimated, or evaporated by solar radiation as it falls into the Sun.
If the interstellar magnetic field is weak, then the termination shock can be greatly elongated in the direction of the heliotail because the speed of the flow speed against the heliosphere may be much more than the Alfven speed.
science.nasa.gov /ssl/pad/solar/suess/Interstellar_Probe/ISP-Intro.html   (1489 words)

 Observations of interstellar molecules   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
Since star formation occurs when deeply embedded clumps of interstellar gas and dust collapse, stars that are newborn or in the very process of forming are always obscured from direct optical view, and the only source of information from the inside of these clumps is provided by longer-wavelength radio waves emitted by molecules.
Interstellar molecules are observed spectroscopically either through emission lines or through absorption lines in a medium in front of a source of continuum radiation (light), such as a star or a quasar.
The physical conditions, such as the temperature and the mass of the simulated interstellar cloud, are identical in the methanol and glycine spectra.
www.chl.chalmers.se /~numa/astrophysics/molecules/molecules.html   (4209 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
Interstellar space is a largely unknown frontier that holds many of the keys to understanding our place in the galaxy.
The proposed Interstellar Probe mission, which will travel to >200 AU in 15 years, is designed to exit this bubble and begin exploring the space between the stars.
To carry out these exploratory studies, Interstellar Probe will include a comprehensive suite of sensors designed to measure the detailed properties of the plasma, neutral atoms, energetic particles, magnetic fields, cosmic rays and dust at the heliospheric boundaries and in the nearby interstellar medium.
interstellar.jpl.nasa.gov /interstellar/probe/introduction/intro.html   (347 words)

 interstellar probes
Space probes that pass through the boundary between interplanetary space and true interstellar space - the region between stars that is occupied by the interstellar medium — and possibly travel to the vicinity of other stars (see interstellar travel).
For as long as they remain functional (two are still active), they afford the opportunity to explore the environment of space out to the limit of the Sun's magnetic influence, the heliopause, and beyond (see also heliosphere and termination shock).
An early design for a true interstellar probe that would journey to a nearby star was Project Daedalus.
daviddarling.info /encyclopedia/I/isprobes.html   (431 words)

 Scientists Discover Two New Interstellar Molecules: Point to Probable Pathways for Chemical Evolution in Space
Each time a new molecule is discovered, it helps to constrain the formation chemistry and the nature of interstellar dust grains, which are believed to be the formation sites of most complex interstellar molecules.
In the GBT experiment, three aldehyde molecules were observed and appear to be related by simple hydrogen addition reactions, which probably occur on the surface of interstellar grains.
"Interstellar molecules are identified by means of the frequencies that are unique to the rotational spectrum of each molecule," said Lovas.
www.nrao.edu /pr/2004/GBTMolecules   (898 words)

 Interstellar Medium: Cold
Maps of interstellar reddening demonstrated that the interstellar medium is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium gas (99%) and traces of dust.
Radiation from interstellar molecules is a good tracer of the dense, thick regions of the interstellar medium.
We divide the interstellar medium into three types dependent on their temperature (called the phase of the interstellar medium): cold (10's K), warm (100 to 1000's K), hot (millions K).
zebu.uoregon.edu /~js/ast122/lectures/lec22.html   (1441 words)

 Interstellar Probe   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
The Interstellar Probe Mission would be designed to cross the solar wind termination shock and heliopause and make a significant penetration into nearby interstellar space.
Included would be in situ studies of particle acceleration at the termination shock, known to reach GeV energies, studies of the structure and motion of the shock, which is a model for astrophysical shocks throughout the cosmos, and studies of the penetration of gas and dust into the heliosphere.
Once beyond the heliopause an Interstellar Probe would be able to make direct measurements of interstellar gas and dust, the interstellar magnetic field, and of low energy cosmic rays unaffected by processes of "solar modulation" that shield the inner heliosphere.
umbra.nascom.nasa.gov /SEC/secr/missions/ISP2.html   (338 words)

 05.29.2003 - 3-D map of local interstellar space shows sun lies in middle of hole piercing galactic plane
View larger image: New map of the cold and dense interstellar gas surrounding the local cavity in the plane of the galaxy.
A key factor in mapping the local interstellar space was recent data from the European Hipparcos satellite, which has provided highly accurate distances to nearby stars, improving significantly over distances obtained through ground-based measurement of parallax.
The existence of a network of tunnels of hot gas that thread interstellar space was first suggested nearly 30 years ago by Don Cox and Barry Smith of the University of Wisconsin.
www.berkeley.edu /news/media/releases/2003/05/29_space.shtml   (1503 words)

 The Diffuse Interstellar Bands   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-15)
A series of diffuse bands (of interstellar origin) were recorded on photographic plates early in the century.
We think that the DIBs are caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or most likely their cations, since PAH ions of all sizes absorb in the visible and near infrared, and such molecules are expected to be ionized by the intense UV field present in much of the interstellar medium.
Salama, F., and Allamandola, L. Neutral and Ionized PAHs, The Diffuse Interstellar Bands, and the Ultraviolet Extinction Curve.
web99.arc.nasa.gov /~astrochm/DIBS.html   (342 words)

BUG should already be well-known for all of you familiar with INTERSTELLAR, GODSENTUS is a trio from austria who just recently released their debut album on FIREWALK WITH ME REC.
INTERSTELLAR FESTIVAL '07 is all set by now too, we don't have no fancy anything to show off at the moment, the poster artwork still is under heavily construction, but here's what is important for you to know:
this year's INTERSTELLAR FESTIVAL is all set already, the date and the line up is confirmed, the posters are in the works (again made by hof) and a site with a whole lot more info is coming soon!
www.interstellarrecords.at   (1274 words)

 Cell Membrane-Like Organic Vesicles Formed in Conditions Mimicking Interstellar Clouds?
The interstellar object then randomly assembled itself into a high pressure liquid chromatography column (complete with injectors, column packing, and detectors) to separate the material into fractions.
In interstellar space, everything is cold and any frozen gases would not be expected to get concentrated on any solid substrate in this manner, except under extremely rare conditions, none of which I can think of at the moment.
What kind of interstellar object would produce this kind of cycle was not discussed in the article.
www.geocities.com /CapeCanaveral/Lab/6562/evolution/astrobiology.html   (1296 words)

 NASA - Warp Drive When - Scaling
The ideal interstellar propulsion system would be one that could get you to other stars as quickly and comfortably as envisioned in science fiction.
Interstellar distances are so astronomical (pun intended) that it is difficult to convey this expanse.
Here are four examples [large graphic] of what it would take to send a canister about the size of a Shuttle payload (or a school bus) past our nearest neighboring star...and allowing 900 years for it to make this journey.
www.grc.nasa.gov /WWW/PAO/html/warp/scales.htm   (1070 words)

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