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This crazy NASA project wants to send a mini Sun into orbit

© ESA

NASA never runs out of ideas for launching new missions. During the presentation of one of them, the American space agency proposed the idea of ​​launching a very small star into orbit (the size of a shoebox). The latter, equipped with lasers, should reproduce the radiation of supernovae or galaxies as we perceive them from Earth.

The objective of such a mission is to understand the different nuances of interpretation by scientists when reading observation results. NASA researchers also want to measure the extent to which the atmosphere plays its role as a “filter” between the night sky and us.

Understanding the sky

For the astronomers behind this mission, which should be launched before the end of the decade, the objective is therefore to understand how we observe the sky, but also what the “real” differences are. » between two results.

This experiment should also make it possible to more precisely locate an observation in a 3D sky. To calculate the distance between Earth and a galaxy or supernova, scientists use the so-called “red shift” method.

As light passes through a vacuum, the waves “lengthen” and shift in the visible spectrum towards the red. This well-known phenomenon makes it possible to locate objects in the sky within a few light years.

Light pollution to fear ?

The announcement of the orbiting of a “miniature star” by NASA is enough to make people react, but the reality is much less frightening. Indeed, NASA scientists have already explained that the satellite would not be larger than a shoe box.

It shouldn't dazzle us. If its lasers face Earth, they will be 100 times too weak to be visible to the naked eye. Only NASA telescopes will be able to observe their rays.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116