A new space mission is launching to try and detect life in the closest star system to Earth
· Nov 17, 2021 · NottheBee.com

The Alpha Centauri star system is just a wee bit of a distance from Earth—a little over 12 trillion miles as the crow flies, a goodish hike—and it also has several planets it in that might actually harbor life, something we may know much more about soon because an bunch of scientists from Australia and America are shooting a very advanced telescope into low-earth orbit to search said star system for life:

A new space mission to hunt for potentially habitable planets around Earth's closest neighbouring star system is under way.

In a project with echoes of the 2009 film Avatar, an international collaboration of scientists in Australia and the US will search in the Alpha Centauri star system for earth-like planets that could sustain life.

Alpha Centauri – Earth's closest neighbouring star system – consists of two sun-like stars, known as Alpha Centauri A and B, and a more distant red dwarf star.

The Toliman mission, named after the ancient Arabic-derived name for the star system, will search for potential planets orbiting Alpha Centauri A and B.

The Toliman telescope, which is under construction, is set to be launched into low-earth orbit in 2023. It seeks to discover new planets in the "Goldilocks orbit" – at the right distance, so the planet is neither too hot nor too cold to sustain life.

The efforts are privately funded too, which means this mission should be an order of magnitude more effective than anything the government could cobble together while wasting 90% of the funds.

Okay, well then, now's the time to start the office betting pool: If they do find life, what will it look like? Maybe the Engineers from Prometheus?

Or (gulp) the Xenomorphs themselves?

Or what about Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still?

My money's on Gort.

Godspeed on your mission, scientists.


Comments

There are 35 comments on this article.

Ready to join the conversation? Start your free trial today.

Access comments and our fully-featured social platform, completely free of charge.

Sign up Now
App screenshot

You must signup or login to view or post comments on this article.