Alpha Centauri

A group of scientists want to send a spacecraft to photograph Alpha Centauri, but need money to make it happen.

Project Blue is led by a consortium of leading space, science, and research institutions dedicated to accelerating the search for potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy.

Above, an artist’s impression of an exoplanet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B.  ESO/M. Kornmesser

According to astronomers there is an 85% probability that there is at least one planet in the habitable zone of the two Alpha Centauri stars.

Project Blue is a new science initiative to capture the first photograph of a potential Earth-like planet orbiting another Sun-like star. The mission aims to launch a lightweight space telescope to directly image exoplanets around Earth’s nearest star system, Alpha Centauri A and B. With a budget the fraction of the cost of a mid-size astrophysics mission, and a planned launch by the end of the decade, this venture represents an ambitious leap forward in low-cost, high-impact space exploration. Through active collaboration between research institutions, universities, private industry and citizens, Project Blue seeks to make space exploration a participatory, collective endeavor and inspire millions worldwide to engage in scientific inquiry.

The consortium was founded by BoldlyGo Institute, Mission Centaur, the SETI Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell and will be steered by a Science & Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) composed of experts immersed in the excitement and challenge of taking a picture of an Earth-like planet in another star system.

via NYT

source Project Blue