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J/AJ/154/115     Travel times of stars within about 300 lt-yr    (Heller+, 2017)

Optimized trajectories to the nearest stars using lightweight high-velocity photon sails. Heller R., Hippke M., Kervella P. <Astron. J., 154, 115-115 (2017)> =2017AJ....154..115H (SIMBAD/NED BibCode)
ADC_Keywords: Stars, nearby ; Stars, distances Keywords: radiation mechanisms: general - solar neighborhood - space vehicles - stars: individual (Alpha centauri, Sirius) - stars: kinematics and dynamics Abstract: New means of interstellar travel are now being considered by various research teams, assuming lightweight spaceships to be accelerated via either laser or solar radiation to a significant fraction of the speed of light (c). We recently showed that gravitational assists can be combined with the stellar photon pressure to decelerate an incoming lightsail from Earth and fling it around a star or bring it to rest. Here, we demonstrate that photogravitational assists are more effective when the star is used as a bumper (i.e., the sail passes "in front of" the star) rather than as a catapult (i.e., the sail passes "behind" or "around" the star). This increases the maximum deceleration at α Cen A and B and reduces the travel time of a nominal graphene-class sail (mass-to-surface ratio 8.6*10-4g/m2) from 95 to 75 years. The maximum possible velocity reduction upon arrival depends on the required deflection angle from α Cen A to B and therefore on the binary's orbital phase. Here, we calculate the variation of the minimum travel times from Earth into a bound orbit around Proxima for the next 300 years and then extend our calculations to roughly 22000 stars within about 300lt-yr. Although α Cen is the most nearby star system, we find that Sirius A offers the shortest possible travel times into a bound orbit: 69 years assuming 12.5% c can be obtained at departure from the solar system. Sirius A thus offers the opportunity of flyby exploration plus deceleration into a bound orbit of the companion white dwarf after relatively short times of interstellar travel. Description: Table2 lists our results for the maximum injection speeds and minimum travel durations. The results have been obtained using numerical trajectory simulations from our modified N-body integrator. File Summary:
FileName Lrecl Records Explanations
ReadMe 80 . This file table2.dat 56 22683 An interstellar travel catalog to use photogravitational assists for a full stop
See also: J/A+A/597/A137 : HD 123999 and Alpha Cen A and B OIFITS files (Kervella+, 2017) J/A+A/508/1509 : Sky maps for hot Jupiters (Heller+, 2009) Byte-by-byte Description of file: table2.dat
Bytes Format Units Label Explanations
1- 22 A22 --- Name Star name (1) 24- 29 I6 km/s Speed [165/182947] Deceleration speed (maximum injection speed) 31- 37 F7.1 yr Time [68.9/63540.7] Minimum travel duration from Earth (2) 39- 43 F5.1 al Dist [4.2/316.9] Stellar distance to the solar system (in light years) 45- 56 F12.6 Lsun Lum [0.00028/13919.9] Luminosity
Note (1): Stars are ordered by increasing travel time from Earth. The hypothetical lightsail has a nominal mass-to-surface ratio (σnom) of 8.6*10-4g/m2. Note (2): Travel times for different σ values scale as σ/σnom1/2.
History: From electronic version of the journal
(End) Prepared by [AAS]; Sylvain Guehenneux [CDS] 12-Feb-2018
The document above follows the rules of the Standard Description for Astronomical Catalogues.From this documentation it is possible to generate f77 program to load files into arrays or line by line

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