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Centauri Dreams

Progress on Starshade Alignment, Stability

12 Jun 2019, 16:00 UTC
Progress on Starshade Alignment, Stability NASA/JPL-Caltech

We’re on the cusp of exciting developments in exoplanet detection, as yesterday’s post about the Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region (NEAR) effort makes clear. Adapting and extending the VISIR instrument at the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, NEAR has seen first light and wrapped up its first observing run of Centauri A and B. What it finds should have interesting ramifications, for its infrared detection capabilities won’t find anything smaller than twice the size of Earth, meaning a habitable zone discovery might rule out a smaller, more Earth-like world, while a null result leaves that possibility open.

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