Midnight In The Desert — stars

Alien Star Brightness Dips Graph

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What is Alpha Centauri hiding? Searches for Earth-like planets ramp up around our nearest stellar neighbor

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What is Alpha Centauri hiding? Searches for Earth-like planets ramp up around our nearest stellar neighbor

Alpha Centauri, a three-star system just 4 light-years away that is the sun's nearest neighbor, ought to be a great place to look for Earth-like planets. But last week, at a meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) here, astronomers lamented the way the system has thwarted discovery efforts so far—and announced new efforts to probe it. "It's very likely that there are planets," says Pierre Kervella of the Paris Observatory in Meudon, France, but the nature and positions of the stars complicate the search. "It's a little frustrating for planet searchers." The system's two sunlike stars, Alpha Centauri A...

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Astronomer Announces He Has Discovered ... Mars.... Wait, What?

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Astronomer Announces He Has Discovered ... Mars.... Wait, What?

Astronomer Peter Dunsby just made a groundbreaking discovery, after noticing a very bright "star" pop up in his field of view at an observatory at the University of Cape Town that was not present two weeks prior. Too bad Dunsby was perhaps thousands of years late … the bright object was the planet Mars. Though no one knows for sure who discovered the Red Planet, Galileo Galilei observed the giant red orb — whose diameter spans a whopping 4,222 miles (6,794 km) — in 1609; and Martian fascination has arguably not waned since. Before realizing his marvelous mistake, Dunsby posted...

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The Fermi Paradox - [Video]

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The Fermi Paradox - [Video]

The universe is unbelievably big – trillions of stars and even more planets. Soo… there just has to be life out there, right? But where is it? Why don’t we see any aliens? Where are they? And more importantly, what does this tell us about our own fate in this gigantic and scary universe? See Part 2: The Fermi Paradox - The Big Picture

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Astronomers Angry Over Launch of Fake Star

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Astronomers Angry Over Launch of Fake Star

Astronomers across the world have criticised a privately owned, New Zealand-based space company after it secretively put a satellite likened to a giant disco ball into orbit. Last week the space exploration startup Rocket Lab launched a rocket from a remote sheep and cattle farm on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The moment prompted jubilation and pride across New Zealand, with Rocket Lab’s founder and chief executive Peter Beck labelling it an “almost unprecedented” step in commercial space exploration. But it has since emerged that as well as conventional satellites, the rocket was also carrying the “Humanity Star”, a...

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