The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Solar sails and comet tails  (Read 3214 times)

Offline Alexh

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Solar sails and comet tails
« on: 28/11/2004 23:50:01 »
I've been following in the New Scientist and some science forums the debate over whether solar sails will ever actually work.

There are a number of arguments to say that they won't - and the most obvious evidence that they will is that comets have tails.

I just wondered whether anyone had seen any research on whether cometary tails could be due to tidal forces alone?


 

Offline Ultima

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
    • View Profile
    • My Homepage
Re: Solar sails and comet tails
« Reply #1 on: 28/11/2004 23:57:07 »
The problem is to get any sort of acceleration from them you must fly very very near to the sun, so for an unmanned probe it might be ok.

wOw the world spins?
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Re: Solar sails and comet tails
« Reply #2 on: 29/11/2004 13:24:09 »
How are they supposed to work ?

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
 

Offline gsmollin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 749
    • View Profile
Re: Solar sails and comet tails
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2004 18:40:22 »
They are large, thin mirrors that provide thrust by bouncing light photons off of them. Here are som weblinks with more info:

http://www.solarsails.info/
http://www.planetary.org/solarsail/
http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/snews/2004/0809.shtml
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Solar sails and comet tails
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2004 18:40:22 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums