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Can a spaceship land on a pulsar?

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #1
    For example if the pulsar is rotating with a fourth of the speed of light?

    Or more generally, what effect does the rotation of an object have when it comes to landing on it?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2011 #2
    There are a couple of problems. Firstly the exposure to the strong rapidly changing magnetic field would play havoc with your electric guiding systems etc. Even getting close is going to be a problem.
    Landing is problematic because of the density and temperature. The surface temperature is still about 1 million kelvin, while the gravity at the surface is about 10^11 times that of Earth.
  4. Oct 30, 2011 #3


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    It is theoretically possible for an object's rotational speed to exceed its escape velocity, rendering it impossible to land on.

    Here's the problem though: the object's outer layers itself will be experiencing that same effect. Its surface will tear off. What natural object is so rigid that its own surface can withstand an upward force exceeding escape velocity?
  5. Oct 30, 2011 #4
    Wouldn't that simply mean you had to land someplace other then the equator? It seems like you could land on the pole no matter how fast it was spinning.
  6. Oct 30, 2011 #5


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    Uh well. There's that... :redface:
  7. Oct 30, 2011 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Land? No problem!

    Take off again? Well, what were you planning on building your spacecraft out of?
  8. Oct 30, 2011 #7


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    Wouldn't your ship be ripped apart as soon as it touches down by the massive difference in velocity between a rotating neutron star and a landing ship that isn't following the surface rotation?
  9. Oct 30, 2011 #8


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    I think you missed the point of post #2. You would be fried WAY beyond crispy and you would be squashed to a thin paste while that was happening.
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