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04/19/2016 – Ephemeris – Sending postcards to Alpha Centauri

April 19, 2016

Ephemeris for Tuesday, April 19th.  The Sun rises at 6:50.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 8:33.   The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 6:19 tomorrow morning.

Here’s an idea.., How about sending postcards to Alpha Centauri.  That’s the idea backed by Yuri Milner, Russian Billionaire and Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook Millionaire and supported by Steven Hawking, the most famous physicist of our age.  Thousands of small computers on cards with a small solar sail would be pushed by Earth bound lasers to 20% the speed of light to the Alpha Centauri star system, the closest to our own which is 4.3 light years away.  At 20% the speed of light these craft would take a bit over 20 years to reach their target.  As they passed through they would photograph the system looking for planets.  The results would be transmitted to Earth at the speed of light, in 4.3 years.  It seems fantastic.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

postcard spacecraft being launched

From a YouTube video showing how these tiny spacecraft will be launched.

The video is located at: https://youtu.be/wMkWGN1G6Kg

Video of the announcement:  https://youtu.be/0cVQwDdYF4w

More information:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3536191/Stephen-Hawking-Yuri-Milner-Mark-Zuckerberg-reveal-100m-Starshot-alien-hunting-mission-using-light-propelled-starship-travel-Alpha-Centauri.html#ixzz45eornfyr

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