Science Wire
technology news beyond the headlinesabout science wirescience wire webcastspast science wires
Jupiter flyby

Jupiter flybyEarth Shaking

We hate to give you yet another thing to worry about but here's some bad news. All life on Earth will end in about a billion years. We'll all be fried. That's because the sun will be more than 10 percent brighter than it is today and our planet will turn into a "runaway greenhouse," kind of like Venus. Here's the good news - it doesn't have to be that way. Astronomers say all we have to do is move the earth into a new orbit.


How would we do this? Would we really consider it? The World's Rebecca Roberts tells us who's behind these ideas and what they're thinking.

Hear it

Who thought of this idea anyway?
Don Korycansky, an astronomer at California's Lick Observatory, realized that this idea is, in fact, possible. And he wrote a paper about it, which you can download from his website. Or read the abstract online.

Even NASA has used the science behind it
Many of NASA's missions have made use of the principle called "gravitational slingshot." Recently, the Cassini spacecraft flew by Venus, Earth and Jupiter in order to be accelerated out to Saturn. Learn all about it.

Science because you can
This isn't the first time scientists have spent time and money pondering something, simply because it's possible. Right now someone's thiniking about how to make Mars livable, and the Exploratorium's Paul Doherty was paid to devise a spacecraft that could, but never will be built.

See for yourself how it would work
All you need are a tennis ball, basketball, and some room to bounce.

More information on the gravitational slingshots and moving the earth

copyright Exploratorium 2001