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Lost in Space

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  1. Why are we only looking at the radio spectrum for messages?. Could just as easily be in x-ray or visible light. Surely the only effective interstellar communication would be through a wormhole. They can be made, allow instantaneous travel between immense distances, for communication purposes can be tiny. Just don`t know how/if the exit point could be controlled or plotted. But I bet that something does.
  2. Has anyone ever observed gravitational lensing?. I remember seeing a picture somewhere but not sure how or where/what it was taken from. I`m guessing it was from Hubble. Could/was the effect ever used to reconstruct an image of a distant object?.
  3. How about this? Remember the film when worlds collide?. Basically they used a rocket propelled sled down a ramp to assist in the initial launch phase then the sled fell away & rockets continued. Lets update the idea. Same sled/ramp idea, but, using maglev & rail gun technology to accelerate the launch vehicle electrically to supersonic speeds whereupon air breathing ram/rocket engines could take the vehicle to the upper atmosphere before converting to pure rocket power for the final acceleration into orbit or beyond. Thereafter some form of electrically produced ion drive could be used for extended periods to travel away from Earth. Ram jets only become effective after the speed of sound, but are light/simple & work at hypersonic speeds. The initial launch phase & acceleration use most of a current spacecraft`s fuel/mass. Electricity is relatively easy to produce & renewable. An unmanned rocket assisted satellite could be fired into space by a suitable rail gun (if the accelleration was carefully controlled & the rail gun long enough, could even launch manned rocket assisted capsule/craft). Any boffins out there who know how much of the shuttles total mass is used in the initial acceleration to mach 3?, & then how much more mass is wasted carrying liquid oxygen through an oxygen rich atmosphere?. I still hate rocket engines though, surely by now we should have something better?.
  4. Recently bought my first proper scope. Went for the skywatcher 200p dobsonian (after a lot of research). First night out with it saw the moon (in great detail) Mars, Venus, Saturn (rings & moons), M5 globular cluster & Orion nebula. Rather a HUGE step forward from my previous tasco luminova!!. Have since found other globulars (ie. both in Hercules), the crab nebula & the whirlpool galaxy. Now joining a local astro society & have been out with it on viewing evenings. Good friendly & helpfull bunch. Bought a modded logitech 4000 now attempting some simple imaging, lot to learn.
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