I’ve never been the real science and space type, but every now and then I happen upon an article that really puts me in awe. I was stumbling through some news articles about health where melatonin may be used to stop or weaken the spread of breast cancer which is amazing in its own right, but I happened to scroll to the bottom of the article to read headlines for other articles when one caught my eye.
A planet orbits around the closest star to our Solar System — and it may be habitable. http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/24/12604828/proxima-centauri-exoplanet-possible-alien-life-starshot
I clicked on the link just to see what the article may contain, and as I was reading it, I literally felt like it was straight out of a movie or video game. There is a star called Proxima Centauri, some 30,000 years away if traveled by rocket, which has a planet called Proxima b orbiting it. Proxima Centauri is a cool red dwarf, so its inhabitable range for orbiting planets is relatively close in proximity compared to our sun, but Proxima b is smack dab in the middle of said range! Meaning that Proxima b may be inhabitable if the atmosphere is found to be like ours and if there is liquid water present.
Stephen Hawking Helps Launch Project ‘Starshot’ for Interstellar Space Exploration. http://www.space.com/32546-interstellar-spaceflight-stephen-hawking-project-starshot.html
It’s a lot of if’s, but Stephen Hawking declared back in April of this year (2016) that Project Starshot would be the first Nanocraft to explore Proxima b. The newly designed space craft would be light in weight with a sail and laser beams to transmit information back to us by using a processor that costs no more than an iPhone, but the most amazing part of the Nanocraft is how fast it will be able to travel. Instead of a 30,000 year journey our current space vehicles would take to make it to Proxima b, the Nanocraft would make it in 20! Read that again: 30,000 years condensed to 20! The Nanocraft would travel up to 20% the speed of light, and it could be happening within the next 10 years!