RECENT PRESS COVERAGE


 
 
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MINIATURE SPACE TELESCOPE COULD BOOST THE HUNT FOR "EARTH PROXIMA" [VIDEO] 

Lee Billings, Scientific American

The search for exoplanets—planets orbiting stars other than our sun—has been a booming subfield of astronomy for more than 20 years. Astronomers have used ground-based observatories as well as space telescopes like NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission to discover thousands of worlds in a broad range of sizes and orbits around a wide variety of stars, and are poised to find tens to hundreds of thousands more in years to come. Yet one key question remains unanswered: Of the billions of potentially habitable, potentially Earth-like planets that statistics tell us should exist in the Milky Way, how far off is “Earth Proxima”—the very closest one? 

 
An artist's illustration of Kepler-16b, the first planet known to definitively orbit two stars. More planets orbiting two stars have been found since Kepler-16b’s discovery. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

How to Spy on Alpha Centauri and Other Binary Stars to Hunt Exoplanets

Sarah Lewin, Space.com

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A new technique could allow scientists to photograph potentially life-supporting planets in nearby multistar systems, its developers say.

The most straightforward way to learn about alien planets is to look at them directly with a telescope, rather than relying on indirect methods such as noticing their effects on the stars they circle.

 
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The nearest earth 

Seth Shostak, The Huffington Post

Fifty years ago, the idea that Alpha Centauri - which is the nearest star system to the Sun - might host a livable planet was, like the TV show itself, dubious fiction. But now a team of creative NASA scientists is designing a telescope to see if the world might actually exist. The team reckons they have a better-than-ever chance to find it.