StarShot

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Breakthrough Starshot Takes to Space

Six Sprites, "the world's smallest spacecraft" have entered low-Earth orbit, a small milestone for Breakthrough Starshot's plan for interstellar voyage.

Breakthrough Starshot - screengrab of laser acceleration video

Exoplanets

Could Spacecraft Make it to Proxima Centauri?

Dust and gas between stars would pose a threat to spacecraft en route from Earth to the Alpha Centauri system — and scientists are seriously considering the problem now that the prospect of interstellar travel is no longer sci-fi.

illustration of Proxima Centauri b

Exoplanets

Exoplanet Found Around Proxima Centauri

Astronomers have discovered a planet in the habitable zone of the closest star to the Sun.

Breakthrough Starshot - screengrab of laser acceleration video

Exoplanets

$100 Million for Fast Probes to Alpha Centauri. Yes, Really.

Yuri Milner commits $100 million to Breakthrough Starshot, a research and development project toward sending interstellar nanoprobes to Alpha Centauri.

Proxima Centauri

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Hunting for Planets Around Proxima Centauri

The Pale Red Dot Initiative has begun the search in earnest for exoplanets orbiting the nearest star to Earth besides the Sun.

Science-based Q&A

How Far is the Closest Star?

Barring the Sun, the closest star to Earth is a triple system called Alpha Centauri, which is over four light years away.

Exoplanets

No Planet of Alpha Centauri B?

The uncertain tale of our closest exoplanet neighbor — is it there or isn’t it? — may end on a cliffhanger.

Exoplanets

Planet Found in Alpha Centauri System

Astronomers announced what might be the closest exoplanet to Earth, a roasted Earth-mass world whipping around the Sun-like star Alpha Centauri B.

Alpha, Beta, and Proxima Centauri

Science-based Q&A

What date were the two principal stars of the Alpha Centauri system last known to be closest to each other?

On what terrestrial date were the two principal stars of the Alpha Centauri system last known to be closest to each other in space? According to the orbit recently published by Belgian astronomer Dimitri Pourbaix, α1 and α2 Centauri were closest in space (at periastron) in early August 1955, and…

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