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Is interstellar travel to an exoplanet possible?
Tanmay Singal and Ashok K. Singal
Astronomy and Astrophysics Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380 009, India.
In this article, we examine the possibility of interstellar travel to reach some exoplanet orbiting around a star, beyond our Solar system. Such travels have been in the realm of science fiction for long. However, in the last 50 years or so, this question has gained further impetus in the mind of a man on the street, after the interplanetary travel has become a reality. Of course the distances to be covered to reach even some of the nearest stars outside the Solar system could be hundreds of thousands of time larger than those encountered within the interplanetary space. Consequently, the time and energy requirements for such a travel could be immensely prohibitive. The questions we want to explore here are: What could be the possible limitations, if any, for such interstellar travels, and could humans ever undertake such a voyage, with hopefully a positive outcome? What could be a possible scenario for such an adventure in a near or even distant future? And what could be the reality of UFOs -- Unidentified Flying Objects -- that get reported in the media from time to time?
interstellar travel, exoplanets, rocket equation