ESOcast 87: Planet found around closest Star





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Published on Aug 24, 2016

This is the ESOcast that no viewer will want to miss. We discuss the result of the quest to find a planet around the closest star to the Solar System.

The Pale Red Dot campaign aimed to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and the team did indeed find a planet. Even more excitingly, the planet, Proxima b,  falls within the habitable zone of its host star. The newly discovered Proxima b is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.

In this ESOcast, the results of this groundbreaking research are explained in detail, providing insights into the following points:

* The extensive verification process the team went through to ensure this result was accurate.
* The factors for and against the possibility of life on Proxima b.
* The nature of a “habitable zone” around a star.

The discovery of Proxima b is a major science result, making this ESOcast a must for those of you curious about one of the most intriguing questions in astronomy — “are we alone?”

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Editing: Herbert Zodet.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Calum Turner, Richard Hook and Eleanor Spring
Narration: Sara Mendes da Costa.
Music: STAN DART (www.stan-dart.com) and Mylonite - MRP (Mylonite Recordz Production).
Footage and photos: ESO, L. Calçada, M. Kornmesser, Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org), Alexandre Santerne (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço) / Planetário do Porto - Centro Ciência Viva, C. Malin (christophmalin.com), NASA, ESA, F. Pont (Exeter University, UK), A. Lecavelier des Etangs (IAP/CNRS/UPMC, France), NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, ACe Consortium, B. Tafreshi (twanight.org), PHL @ UPR Arecibo, Liam Young/Unknown Fields, Alain Maury/spaceobs observatory, S. Brunier and Y. Beletsky (LCO).
Directed by: Herbert Zodet.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.


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