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Voyage of the Sunjammer

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Voyage of the Sunjammer: Sailing on Solar Winds

The sun, like all other stars, emits an immense amount of photons, as well as a steady stream of charged particles. This “solar wind” actually exerts a not insignificant amount of pressure on everything which orbits the sun. It’s enough to blow out the glorious tails of comets, like the ones that should be visible in the skies later this year, and to be gradually eroding Venus’ atmosphere. Also, just like the wind here on Earth, space weather can be used to power sails.

PHOTOS: 5 Ways the Solar Wind Will Blow You Away

Despite being a mainstay in some science fiction works, solar sails are a very real and attainable technology. The latest development being the Sunjammer, a joint project between NASA and California-based aerospace company L’Garde.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
fixed typo in tags.

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