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Bonam

Potentially habitable planet found in nearest neighboring star system

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Exciting news:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/earth-mass-planet-proxima-centauri-habitable-space-science/

We don't know yet if it's habitable or even has an atmosphere, but it's the right distance from its star to have the right temperature for liquid water, and is similar in size to Earth. We'll know more about this planet (Proxima b ) after the JWST (the new bigger space telescope, Hubble's successor) launches in 2018. Just 4 light years away, it could be conceivable to send a probe to Proxima b on a timescale relevant for human projects and planning.

Edited by Bonam

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it could be conceivable to send a probe to Proxima b on a timescale relevant for human projects and planning.

Best news for space exploration we have had in a while. Getting to Mars may be old news. I wonder what the fastest trip for a robot ship would be given today's tech?

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Best news for space exploration we have had in a while. Getting to Mars may be old news. I wonder what the fastest trip for a robot ship would be given today's tech?

About 0.1c is conceivable with nuclear pulse propulsion, so about 40 years for a one way trip. Long, but not totally out of scale with other space exploration projects that have operated on 10-30 year timescales. There would of course be many technical, economic, and political challenges to building such a probe.

Even a high speed flyby with cameras and various scientific instruments could yield treasure troves of scientific data on the Proxima system. And you could probably design the mission so that it passes through other systems decades later on its trajectory and is still able to send back information from those, as well.

Edited by Bonam

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Start building a raft. THere's some people I'd like to send there.

I'll go there myself, you don't even have to herd me onto the raft!

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Hell, no. You're pure entertainment and you know how much us Canadians love American entertainment. What would I do without you, bush?

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This is pretty cool.

Proxima Centrauri b only has a mass of 0.1 solar masses. This means it has a life time of about a trillion years.

This means that humans will have a habitable area close by for nearly a trillion years after our sun goes nova and dies.

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This is pretty cool.

Proxima Centrauri b only has a mass of 0.1 solar masses. This means it has a life time of about a trillion years.

This means that humans will have a habitable area close by for nearly a trillion years after our sun goes nova and dies.

Well, if we can get to Proxima b some time in the next few million years, presumably we'll have plenty of time to go to thousands of other star systems long before the Sun is scheduled to expire. But yes, red dwarf stars do have the longest lifetimes. (Also our Sun won't go nova, it's too small).

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Well, if we can get to Proxima b some time in the next few million years, presumably we'll have plenty of time to go to thousands of other star systems long before the Sun is scheduled to expire. But yes, red dwarf stars do have the longest lifetimes. (Also our Sun won't go nova, it's too small).

Yes, as "Earthlings" will likely overtake any hardware mission to the Alpha Centauri system (three stars) with better, faster, and more capable technology.

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Relatively speaking moving to Australia or New Zealand from the 18th century Britain was as daunting an idea as the idea today to move to a distant planet elsewhere in the universe. If Australia and NZ are today next door so could a different planet be in not such a long time away.

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Relatively speaking moving to Australia or New Zealand from the 18th century Britain was as daunting an idea as the idea today to move to a distant planet elsewhere in the universe. If Australia and NZ are today next door so could a different planet be in not such a long time away.

We can certainly hope so. The speed of light remains a problem though. Unless we can find a way to circumvent that limit, it is hard to ever imagine interstellar trips being as accessible as trips around the planet.

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