In past humans have landed on Moon, sent probes to Mars and even beyond our solar system. Now we are planning to reach near the Sun. Yes, you heard it right the European space agency is planning to send three spacecraft to orbit the Sun. The Sun is 149.6 million kilometers away from Earth and 1.3 million times bigger than the Earth. The European space agency is trying to find gravitational waves and they think the best way to find that is sending spacecraft to the Sun.
WHAT IS GRAVITATIONAL WAVE?
In Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, he predicted that any accelerating object if massive enough can distort spacetime and sends gravitational waves in every direction. We have already detected this wave twice on Earth. But measuring on Earth can corrupt the data because of Earthquakes and other things.
WHY DETECTING IT IS SO IMPORTANT?
Scientists all around the world are convinced by the 2 detections we made here on Earth. Detecting it in the outer space would be the last nail in the coffin. Detection of the gravitational wave will prove that Einstein’s theory of general relativity is correct and our understanding of the universe is not completely wrong. That’s why scientists are so excited about this.
Detecting gravitational wave is not an easy work. You have to detect the slightest change in the fabric of spacetime. On earth the chance of having a corrupt data is huge. So the Europian space agency is sending three spacecraft to orbit the Sun. The Sun is massive enough and the 3 spacecraft will orbit the Sun in a triangle. This space crafts will stay connected via lasers. The huge size of the sun gives enough space to the lasers and scientists were aiming for this kind of distance. The bigger the distance between the spacecraft’s the more chance we get to detect low-frequency waves.
The Europian space agency is calling the whole system Laser Interferometer Space Antena consisted of 3 spacecraft or in short LISA. The 3 spacecraft will maintain a distance of 1 million kilometres between each other.
The launch of LISA is expected to be before 2020. Sun, we are coming!