(TMU) — Have you ever thought of moving to a different city or even a different country because you can’t handle the “toxic” environment surrounding you? Perhaps, it could be pollution, a bad local government, a crime outbreak, or maybe you just want to pursue a better quality of life… But what if I told you that that is one of the latest propositions from scientists? But not just moving us—humans and our planet—they’re proposing moving our entire solar system to a “better” and “safer” place.
As we have discussed before, reality is always surpassing fiction. Quantum computers, hybrid cars, and smart houses are regular things these days. New technology today becomes obsolete in a couple of months, and this serves different purposes including improving and protecting our lives.
The universe is not static, and nothing inside it is. Every 230 million years our Sun completes its orbit around the center of the galaxy, maintaining a consistent distance of roughly 30,000 light-years. Just like us, walking in the night alone facing some potential dangers, our solar system confronts its own issues in its universal journey.
The universe is constantly shifting, so there is a chance that Earth might fall into the path of an asteroid shower, a supernova star, or face a threatening scenario for human life.
The so-called Caplan Thruster, named after astrophysicist Matthew Caplan from Illinois State University, the scientist who came up with the design, would use the Sun’s own energy to propel it across the galaxy and beyond. This thruster would potentially use electromagnetic fields to gather hydrogen and helium from the solar wind to use as fuel.
A video from Kurzgesagt illustrates this project beautifully:
A fusion reactor would create a jet of radioactive oxygen that would move the Caplan Thruster forward, and one using hydrogen, to maintain distance from the Sun and to push it forward. A variant of a Dyson sphere would be needed to maximize the energy coming from the sunlight. In an analogical way, we would create a sort of “mirror” that reflects the photons coming from the Sun to relocate the Sun. Sort of like the solar panels used to provide electricity to our houses, it’s all about energy and transforming it.
You may be wondering by this point… what about the rest of the solar system? Well, the answer isn’t actually complex at all—it will move along with the Sun because of the gravity acting as a “glue” and moving all of the planets together with the Sun. So, we wouldn’t have to worry about moving the rest of the planets individually.
Two interesting things to notice is that we would get a decent heads-up on any probable dangerous situation for our solar system, something in the region of a few million years, and also, the movement of the Sun would be limited to a similar movement of a “Y” axis, because in another way, the nearest planets could be seriously damaged due to the energy created by the thruster.
For more information, take a look into the research published in Acta Astronautica.