[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: starship-design: Hitching a Ride on a Magnetic Bubble
> The speed of wind is an average velocity made up of light, gravity waves,
> heat, electro and magnetic components and also mass parts. A well designed
> "light"sail in theory could indeed reach light speed, but practically will
> not near c, for the light and electromagnetic energy captured by the sail far
> from the effects of the gravity and mass parts is so small in relation to the
> mass of the rocket sail, I see little hope of leaving the solar system before
> the solar system gravity fields slows and drags the sail back in an
> elliptical comet like orbit orbit around the sun.
What is referred to as the "solar wind" is specifically the charged
particle flux that streams away from the Sun, and it's that charged
particle flux that would interact with a magnetic sail.
According to Lang's _Astrophysical Formulae, 3rd ed._, pp 271-273, the
solar wind has two components, one with a velocity of about 400 km/s,
another with a velocity of about 800 km/s, as measured near Earth.
Solar escape velocity (the table in _CRC Handook of Chemistry and
Physics_ doesn't say where, but I'm assuming from the surface since it
would vary with distance from the Sun) is about 671 km/s. So
interaction with the fast component of the solar wind could easily
propel a spacecraft to escape velocity from the Sun.