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NOT “Earth 2” – But Fascinating…

24 Aug 2016, 10:15 UTC
NOT “Earth 2” – But Fascinating…
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Today could be a rather exciting and important day for astronomers, professional and amateur alike, and anyone “into” space. Later today there will be a press conference by astronomers from the European Southern Observatory which will, if the rumours are true, be used to announce the discovery of a planet orbiting the star Proxima Centauri.
Why would that be a big deal? Because Proxima is the closest star to the Sun, “just” 4.3 light years away, so any planets found orbiting it will become the targets of research projects and intense study for years to come – and, without doubt, the target destinations for the first interstellar probes we make and despatch, sometime in the more distant future. And yes, looking even further ahead than that, it might seem like science fiction to even think about it, but any planet found whirling around Proxima Centauri will probably be the world the first human beings to journey to another star see through a spacecraft window – and then land on and walk on, if it has the right conditions to allow them to do that. It really could be that important.
If you’re into this kind of thing you’ll know that ...

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