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William Bacon's Mission to Alpha Centuari Page Index


Current status of the deep space network


Very Large Telescope joins Breakthrough search for Alpha Centauri's planets
BY ALAN BOYLE on January 9, 2017 at 10:59 am




The ESO's (European Southern Observatory) Very Large Telescope looms in the foreground of this image, and a star map has been superimposed on the night sky to show the locations of Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri.
(ESO Photo)


How long would it take to travel to the nearest star Alpha Centauri?

Hoelang duurt de reis naar dichtstbijzijnde ster Alpha Centauri Alpha Centauri staat op een afstand van 4,22 lichtjaar, wat overeen komt met 40.000 miljard km. Reis je met een snelheid van 27.000 km/u dan zou je er ruim 165.000 jaar over doen. Nemen we het snelste ruimtevaartuig ooit dan duurt het een heel stuk korter De is de Helios 2 sonde die in 1976 gelanceerd werd en door een zetje van de Zon een snelheid van ruim 250.000 km/u bereikte. Deze sonde zou er ruim 18.000 jaar over doen om bij Alpha Centauri te komen. Zou je dezelfde afstand (40.000 miljard km) met een auto met een snelheid van 120 km/u afleggen, dan zou je er bijna 40 miljoen jaar over doen. Mochten we ooit naar sterren willen kunnen reizen, dan is er een grote doorbraak nodig in de aandrijving van ruimtevaartuigen, waarbij de lichtsnelheid benaderd en het liefst nog flink overschreden moet kunnen worden. Source: STORY FROM UNIVERSE TODAY.COM



Setting Sail for Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to us at about four light years away but it would take us thousands of years to get there by rocket. Some people just don't have that much patience. ------------------------------------------------------- Subscribe to Fw:Thinking: For the audio podcast, blog and more, visit the Fw:Thinking website: Fw:Thinking on Twitter: Jonathan Strickland on Twitter: Fw:Thinking on Facebook: Setting Sail for Alpha Centauri:


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Mission to Alpha Centauri

Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy

CHANDRA OBSERVATORY CHECKS TO MAKE SURE ALPHA CENTAURI IS SAFE, YOU KNOW, IN CASE WE DECIDE TO VISIT

Speculation: By Isaac Arthur
Outward Bound: Colonizing Alpha Centauri

A journey out to the stars to colonize Alpha Centauri Visit our sponsor, Brilliant: We've looked at colonizing our own solar system, from Mars to Venus, and all the way inward to the Sun itself and out to the dark edges of the Oort Cloud. In this episode we conclude the Outward Bound Series by heading to our nearest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri, and look at the trials and tribulations of colonizing binary star systems and red dwarves. Visit our Website: Join the Facebook Group: Support the Channel on Patreon: To help us grow your SFIA community, follow on Twitter and RT our future content. : Visit the sub-reddit Listen or Download the audio of this episode from Soundcloud: Cover Art by Jakub Grygier: Script Editing Andy P Finrod Felagund Gregory Leal Keith Blockus Matthew Acker N Kern Sigmund Kopperud (Wicked Woxel) Graphics Team: Edward Nardella Jeremy Jozwik Jarred Eagley Justin Dixon Jeremy Jozwik Katie Byrne Kris Holland of Mafic Stufios: Luuk Warringa Mihail Yordanov Murat Mamkegh Nick Talmers Nieuwoudt Pierre Demet Sergio Botero: Stefan Blandin Music Supervisor Luca De Rosa Music: Markus Junnikkala, "Hail the Victorious Dead" Evan King, "Altered Carbon" Evan King , "Overwatch" Ender Guney, "Epic Cinematic Trailer" NJ Mandaville, "Plagal" Koalips, "Kvazar" Phase Shift, "Mystic Forest" Sergey Cheremisinov, "Jump In Infinity" Dan MCLeod, "Stargazers" Aerium, "Waters of Atlantis" Aerium, "Fifth star of Aldebaran" In memory of Link (2008 – Feb 20, 2018) You will be missed my furry friend Caption author (Portuguese (Brazil)) Obama num unicórnio atirando num campo florido Caption author (Korean) 남윤수 Caption author (Chinese) Tan Xu Category Science & Technology

Project Dragonfly. A Laser-Powered Probe to Alpha Centauri

Seeding the Milky Way with Life Using Genesis Missions

When exploring other planets and celestial bodies, NASA missions are required to abide by the practice known as “planetary protection“. This practice states that measures must be taken during the designing of a mission to ensure that biological contamination of both the planet/body being explored and Earth (in the case of sample-return missions) are prevented.

A new instrument called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (STEG) is being developed to find evidence of life on other worlds. Credit: NASA/Jenny Mottor

Project Starshot, an initiative sponsored by the Breakthrough Foundation, is intended to be humanity’s first interstellar voyage. Credit:breakthroughinitiatives.org

Thank You Breakthrough Inititives



Artist’s impression of the Dragonfly spacecraft concept. Credit and Copyright: David A Hardy (2015)

A new study expands on the classical theory of panspermia, addressing whether or not life could be distributed on a galactic scale. Credit: NASA

Can We Really Get to Alpha Centauri? The Breakthrough Starshot Mission Explained

The distances between stars are so vast, it’s hard to wrap your mind around it. Even our far flung Voyagers have barely reached interstellar space, and would take tens of thousands of years to get to even the nearest star. But scientists and engineers are considering what it would actually take to send a spacecraft to another star. It’s called Project Dragonfly, and would use existing or near future technologies to send a 3,000 kg spacecraft to Alpha Centauri within 100 years. Project Dragonfly paper Audio Podcast version: ITunes: RSS: Video Podcast version: ITunes: RSS: Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001

Project Dragonfly: Sail to the starsTobias Häfnera,∗
,1, Manisha Kushwahab,2, Onur Celikb,3, Filippo Bellizzi (PDF)

Web page of the chandra observatory



The Alpha Centauri system, shown in the optical and X-ray wavelenghts (using Chandra data). Credit: chandra.harvard.edu

The respective habitable zones around Alpha Centauri A and B. Credit: Planetary Habitability Laboratory



What these observations showed was that any planet orbiting within the habitable zone of A would receive (on average) a lower dose of X-rays compared to similar planets around the Sun. For planets orbiting withing the habitable zone of B, the X-ray dose they received would be about five times higher. Meanwhile, planets orbiting within Proxima Centauri’s habitable zone would get an average of 500 times more X-rays, and 50,000 times more during a big flare

At a distance of only 25 trillion miles, the Alpha Centauri star system is a prime target in humanity's search for life outside our Solar System. Astronomers would like to know what kind of environment exists around the two stars in Alpha Centauri that closely resemble our Sun. To learn about this, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has been monitoring the Alpha Centauri system every six months for over a decade. Chandra is the only X-ray observatory capable of resolving the two Sun-like stars to determine which star is doing what. A new study indicates these two stars are likely not pummeling any orbiting planets with large amounts of X-ray radiation. This is promising news for the sustainability of life on any planets astronomers find around these two nearby stars in the future.

Article

Why planetary and exoplanetary protection differ:
The case of long duration Genesis missions to
habitable but sterile M-dwarf oxygen planets (PDF)


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The Closest Planet Ever Discovered Outside the Solar System
Could be Habitable With a Dayside Ocean

Artist Conception of the surface Of Proxima Centuari B With proxima Centuari C (Proxima) at the Horizon

Artist’s impression of Proxima b, which was discovered using the Radial Velocity method. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Artist’s impression of a flaring red dwarf star, orbited by an exoplanet. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

This infographic compares the orbit of the planet around Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) with the same region of the Solar System. Credit: Pale Red Dot

Artist’s depiction of a watery exoplanet orbiting a distant red dwarf star. New research indicates that Proxima b could be especially watery. Credit: CfA

Artist’s impression of a habitable exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star. The habitability of the planets of red dwarf stars is conjectural. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser.

The two brightest stars of the Centaurus constellation – (left) Alpha Centauri and (right) Beta Centauri. The faint red star in the center of the red circle is Proxima Centauri. Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Skatebiker

Proxima Centuari located

ARTICLE



Will We Ever Reach Another Star? The Challenge of Interstellar Travel

We hear about discoveries of exoplanets every day. So how long will it take us to find another planet like Earth? Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001

Weighing in at 60,000 tons when fully fuelled, Daedalus would dwarf even the Saturn V rocket. Credit: Adrian Mann

A concept for a multi-generation ship being designed by the TU Delft Starship Team (DSTART), with support from the ESA. Credit and Copyright: Nils Faber & Angelo Vermeulen

Numerical constraints on the size of generation ships from total
energy expenditure on board, annual food production and space
farming techniques (PDF)


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Can we reach Alpha Centauri by a generation ship?

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE YOU SHOULD SEND IN A GENERATIONAL SHIP TO PROXIMA CENTAURI?

A concept for a multi-generation ship being designed by the TU Delft Starship Team (DSTART), with support from the ESA. Credit and Copyright: Nils Faber & Angelo Vermeulen

The Project Orion concept for a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Credit:silodrome.co

Weighing in at 60,000 tons when fully fuelled, Daedalus would dwarf even the Saturn V rocket. Credit: Adrian Mann

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun. Credits: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Project Starshot, an initiative sponsored by the Breakthrough Foundation, is intended to be humanity’s first interstellar voyage. Credit:breakthroughinitiatives.org

Will We Ever Reach Another Star? The Challenge of Interstellar Travel

Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001 The nearest star is 4 light years away. That means that light, traveling at 300,000 kilometers per second would still need 4 YEARS to reach the nearest star. The fastest spacecraft ever launched by humans would need tens of thousands of years to make that trip. But science fiction encourages us to think it’s possible. Kirk and Spock zip from world to world with a warp drive violating the Prime Directive right in it’s smug little Roddenberrian face. Han and Chewy can make the Kessel run in only 12 parsecs, which is confusing and requires fan theories to resolve the cognitive space-distance dissonance, and Galactica, The SDF 3, and Guild Navigators all participate in the folding of space.

How Big Would a Generation Ship Need to be to Keep a Crew of 500 Alive
for the Journey to Another Star?

There’s no two-ways about it, the Universe is an extremely big place! And thanks to the limitations placed upon us by Special Relativity, traveling to even the closest star systems could take millennia. As we addressed in a previous article, the estimated travel time to the nearest star system (Alpha Centauri) could take anywhere from 19,000 to 81,000 years using conventional methods.


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ESO's Pale Red Dot Project & other Special Projects


The Pale Red Dot Project


Astronomy Picture of the day, January 18, 2016
Proxima Centauri



Proxima Centauri: The Closest Star Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Explanation: Does the closest star to our Sun have planets? No one is sure -- but you can now follow frequent updates of a new search that is taking place during the first few months of this year. The closest star, Proxima Centauri, is the nearest member of the Alpha Centauri star system. Light takes only 4.24 years to reach us from Proxima Centauri. This small red star, captured in the center of the featured image by the Hubble Space Telescope, is so faint that it was only discovered in 1915 and is only visible through a telescope. Telescope-created X-shaped diffraction spikes surround Proxima Centauri, while several stars further out in our Milky Way Galaxy are visible in the background. The brightest star in the Alpha Centauri system is quite similar to our Sun, has been known as long as recorded history, and is the third brightest star in the night sky. The Alpha Centauri system is primarily visible from Earth's Southern Hemisphere. Starting last week, the European Southern Observatory's Pale Red Dot project began investigating slight changes in Proxima Centauri to see if they result from a planet -- possibly an Earth-sized planet. Although unlikely, were a modern civilization found living on a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, its proximity makes it a reasonable possibility that humanity could communicate with them. #PaleRedDot : Follow the search for planets around Proxima Centauri.


Image: Proxima Centauri, indicated by the arrow, in an image from the
first night's run at the Pale Red Dot observing campaign at La Silla.
Credit: ESO/Guillem Anglada-Escudé.



ESOcast 80: Follow a Live Planet Hunt




 
Published on Jan 15, 2016
 
And a unique new project will now allow members of the public to go behind the scenes and
 follow a planet hunt as it happens!
 
More information and download options: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/esoc...
Subscribe to ESOcast in iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/esoc...
Receive future episodes on YouTube by pressing the Subscribe button above or follow us on
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/esoastronomy
Watch more ESOcast episodes: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/arch...
 
Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or
 translate this video on dotSUB: http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/pa...
Credit: ESO
 


Project Blue: A Space Telescope to Find Another Earth





Interstellar Escape from Proxima b is Barely Possible with Chemical Rockets



SPACEFLIGHT FROM SUPER-EARTHS IS DIFFICULT


PROJECT BLUE: BUILDING A SPACE TELESCOPE THAT COULD DIRECTLY OBSERVE PLANETS AROUND ALPHA CENTAURI






Artist's concept of the Project Blue space telescope, which the organization
hopes to use to spot exoplanets in Alpha Centauri beginning in 2020.
Credit: projectblue.org






Artist's impression of a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B,
a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth.
Credit: ESO






Project Blue's mission concept, showing the telescope, its launch and deployment.
Credit: ESO


UPCOMING TELESCOPES SHOULD BE ABLE TO DETECT MOUNTAINS
AND OTHER LANDSCAPES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS




Using the Transit Method, a team of astronomers has found a way to
determine the presence of mountains and other features on exoplanets.
Credit: NASA/Tim Pyle





Artist's impression of Proxima b, which was discovered
using the Radial Velocity method.
Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser




This infographic compares the orbit of the planet around
Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) with the same region of the Solar System.
Credit: Pale Red Dot




Artist's impression of an extra-solar planet transiting its star.
Credit: QUB Astrophysics Research Center




Artists impression of a Super-Earth, a class of planet that has many
times the mass of Earth, but less than a Uranus or Neptune-sized planet.
Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech




Project Starshot, an initiative sponsored by the Breakthrough Foundation,
is intended to be humanity's first interstellar voyage.
Credit:




Satellite image of the Himalayan mountain chain, as imaged by
NASA's Landsat-7 imagery of Himalayas.
Credit: NASA




Color mosaic of Mars greatest mountain, Olympus Mons, viewed from orbit.
Credit NASA/JPL




Artist's impression of the OWL Telescope being deployed at
night from its enclosure, where it will operated during the daytime.
Credit: ESO


PROXIMA CENTAURI JUST RELEASED A FLARE SO POWERFUL IT WAS VISIBLE TO THE UNAIDED EYE.
PLANETS THERE WOULD GET SCORCHED




Artist impression of a red dwarf star like Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our sun. New analysis of ALMA observations reveal that Proxima Centauri emitted a powerful flare that would have created inhospitable conditions for planets in that system. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Berry




Artist's impression of Proxima b, which was discovered using the Radial Velocity method. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser




The Red Dots project is successor to the Pale Red Dot project, which discovered Proxima b last summer. Credit: ESO






Artist's impression of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. The double star Alpha Centauri AB is visible to the upper right of Proxima itself. Credit: ESO


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xWhat Would be the Benefits of an Interstellar Probe?

The Proposed Bussard RamJet

NASA’s Voyager 2 Enters Interstellar Space

Forty-one years after it launched into space, NASA’s Voyager 2 probe has exited our solar bubble and entered the region between stars. Its twin, Voyager 1, made this historic crossing in 2012. Edward Stone, the Voyager mission’s project scientist, and Suzanne Dodd, the mission project manager, discuss this major milestone and what’s to come for the trailblazing probe. For more about the Voyagers, including the Grand Tour of the Solar System and the Golden Record, visit NASA's Voyager's webpage

Thank you NASA



Illustration showing the position of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, outside of the heliosphere, a protective bubble created by the Sun that extends well past the orbit of Pluto. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

What will it take before human beings can travel to the nearest star system within their own lifetimes? Credit: Shigemi Numazawa/ Project Daedalus

Project Starshot, an initiative sponsored by the Breakthrough Foundation, is intended to be humanity’s first interstellar voyage. Credit:breakthroughinitiatives.org

Can We Really Get to Alpha Centauri? The Breakthrough Starshot Mission Explained

The distances between stars are so vast, it’s hard to wrap your mind around it. Even our far flung Voyagers have barely reached interstellar space, and would take tens of thousands of years to get to even the nearest star. But scientists and engineers are considering what it would actually take to send a spacecraft to another star. It’s called Project Dragonfly, and would use existing or near future technologies to send a 3,000 kg spacecraft to Alpha Centauri within 100 years. Project Dragonfly paper Audio Podcast version: ITunes: RSS: Video Podcast version: ITunes: RSS: Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: : More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com /Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001


What If We Do Find Aliens? How Prepared Is Earth For Meeting Extraterrestrials

We've been so busy wondering how we'll find aliens that we never stopped to consider what we'll do if we actually encounter them. How does an alien discovery get communicated to the media? Who's responsible to craft a response? References: Post Detection Scientists in US are urged to seek contact with aliens

RSS: Sign up to my weekly email newsletter: Support us at:Support us at: : More stories at Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com /Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - Chloe Cain - Instagram: @chloegwen2001

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Article

Interstellar Probes: The Benefits to Astronomy and Astrophysics K. F. Longa(PDF)