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Mini solar system could reveal hidden dimensions

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... Sahni [of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics] proposes an alternative way to measure gravity on small scales. He and colleague Yuri Shtanov at the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics (BITP) in Kiev, Ukraine, say it could be done by sending a "solar system in a can" into space.

This artificial system would reside inside a spacecraft that would be sent to the L2 Lagrange point. That point lies about four times as far away from Earth as the Moon does.

A spacecraft placed there would stay fixed in space, relative to Earth, making it easier to monitor. The Earth would also shield it from the Sun's radiation, which pushes gently on any objects it shines on. Any such push could change the spacecraft's position relative to the tiny "planets" held inside it.

Once at the Lagrange point, the artificial solar system would be set in motion inside the spacecraft. An 8-centimetre-wide sphere of tungsten would act as an artificial sun, while a smaller test sphere would be launched 10 cm away into an oval-shaped orbit. The miniscule planet would orbit its tungsten sun 3,000 times per year.

Full article: http://tinyurl.com/po4em

Source: New Scientist

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