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2019
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The Caplan Thruster
  • Description of the forecast
  • Description of the implementation
Matthew Caplan from Illinois State University designed the machine at the behest of Munich-based YouTube channel Kurzgesagt. Caplan wrote a paper describing the machine which has been published in the journal Acta Astronautica.

The device would work much like a rocket. From a position near the Sun, it would use a Dyson sphere to collect mass from the star and then separate it into hydrogen and helium. The machine would then burn the helium in fusion reactors to generate thrust behind it, while shooting a jet of accelerated hydrogen particles at the Sun to ensure it didn’t slam right into the star.

This would allow the Caplan Thruster to work like a giant tugboat, pushing the Sun from its current location to a new one at a speed of about 50 light years per one million years.

That might not seem very fast, but according to the Kurzgesagt video, the type of event that would necessitate using a solar engine wouldn’t exactly sneak up on humanity — we’d likely know about it thousands or even millions of years in advance.

That means the Caplan Thruster would be speedy enough to get the Sun out of harm’s way. And thanks to gravity, wherever the Sun goes, the Earth and the rest of the planets will follow.

About this event in a different language: русский

 

Source: Futurism

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Matthew Caplan

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Matt Caplan graduated from Indiana University in 2017. He is now a Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University. 2018 APS dissertation award in Nuclear Physics! Also winner of the "Distinguished PhD Dissertation Award" at Indiana in the Mathematics/Engineering/Physical Science catagory.