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Tuesday July 10th 2012

‘Space’ Archives

Our First Galactic Ambassador

Our First Galactic Ambassador

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 Voyagers and the more recent [...]

Titan’s Atmosphere Under Scrutiny

Titan’s Atmosphere Under Scrutiny

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 allure of this moon is surely what goes [...]

Another Way of Looking at Interstellar Probes

Another Way of Looking at Interstellar Probes

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 send a probe [...]

Coffee with Dr. Fermi

Coffee with Dr. Fermi

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 for background research in the afternoon. [...]

100 Year Starship Site Launches

100 Year Starship Site Launches

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 [...]

The Proxima Centauri Planet Hunt

The Proxima Centauri Planet Hunt

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 own. And the issue we [...]

Proxima Centauri: Looking at the Nearest Star

Proxima Centauri: Looking at the Nearest Star

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 are rocky worlds in this [...]

Habitable Zones in Other Galaxies

Habitable Zones in Other Galaxies

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 Ames) digs into galactic habitable zones [...]

Closing in on Alpha Centauri

Closing in on Alpha Centauri

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 years. Centauri A and B [...]

Neutrino Communications: An Interstellar Future?

Neutrino Communications: An Interstellar Future?

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 that ran from 1979 [...]

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