April 2012

Our First Galactic Ambassador

April 30, 2012

by Larry Klaes Larry Klaes is a long-time Centauri Dreams contributor, a practitioner of the Tau Zero Foundation and a serious devotee of space exploration and its history. Here he gives us a look at the Pioneer probes that first took us to the outer Solar System, journeys that foreshadowed the later exploits of the […]

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Another Way of Looking at Interstellar Probes

April 27, 2012

By Michael Michaud The following post is a distinct change of pace for Centauri Dreams, a work of fiction that gets at questions at the heart of SETI. We’ve considered many ideas about interstellar probes that humans may one day launch toward nearby stars. But the reverse could occur: A more advanced technological civilization could […]

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Titan’s Atmosphere Under Scrutiny

April 26, 2012

Of all the probe targets in the outer Solar System, Titan is in many ways the most provocative. Not long ago we looked at two concepts — Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) and AVIATR — that would get instruments back into Titan’s atmosphere and, in the case of TiME, onto one of its northern seas. The […]

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Coffee with Dr. Fermi

April 25, 2012

I cannot live without good coffee, and that means fresh beans ground right before brewing, and either manual drip or French press extraction. Every morning after publishing Centauri Dreams I make a couple of cups and go out on the deck to rest my eyes and ponder the state of things before hitting the books […]

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100 Year Starship Site Launches

April 24, 2012

You’ll want to bookmark the 100 Year Starship Initiative‘s new site, which just came online. From the mission statement: 100 Year Starship will pursue national and global initiatives, and galvanize public and private leadership and grassroots support, to assure that human travel beyond our solar system and to another star can be a reality within […]

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The Proxima Centauri Planet Hunt

April 24, 2012

Although we haven’t yet found any planets around Proxima Centauri, it would be a tremendous spur to our dreams of future exploration if one turned up in the habitable zone there. That would give us three potential targets within 4.3 light years, with Centauri A and B conceivably the home to interesting worlds of their […]

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Proxima Centauri: Looking at the Nearest Star

April 23, 2012

Let’s start the week with a reminder about Debra Fischer’s work on Alpha Centauri, which we talked about last week. There are several ongoing efforts to monitor Centauri A and B for planets and, given the scrutiny the duo have received for the past several years, we should be getting close to learning whether there […]

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Habitable Zones in Other Galaxies

April 20, 2012

We often speak of habitable zones around stars, most commonly referring to the zone in which a planet could retain liquid water on its surface. But the last ten years has also seen the growth of a much broader idea, the galactic habitable zone (GHZ). A new paper by Falguni Suthar and Christopher McKay (NASA […]

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Closing in on Alpha Centauri

April 19, 2012

Alpha Centauri is irresistible, a bright beacon in the southern skies that captures the imagination because it is our closest interstellar target. If we learn there are no planets in the habitable zones around Centauri A and B, we then have to look further afield, where the next candidate is Barnard’s Star, at 5.9 light […]

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Neutrino Communications: An Interstellar Future?

April 18, 2012

The news that a message has been sent using a beam of neutrinos awakened a flood of memories. Back in the late 1970s I was involved with the Society for Amateur Radio Astronomers, mostly as an interested onlooker rather than as an active equipment builder. Through SARA’s journal I learned about Cosmic Search, a magazine […]

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