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Centauri Dreams
Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration

Centauri Dreams
  • On Potentially Habitable Moons
    Looking through a recent Astrophysical Journal paper on gas giants in the habitable zone of their stars, I found myself being diverted by the distinction between a conservative habitable zone (CHZ) and a somewhat more optimistic one (OHZ). Let?s pause briefly on this, because these are terms that appear frequently enough in the literature to […]

  • Marc Millis on Mach Effect Thruster, EmDrive Tests
    Marc Millis spent the summer of 2017 at the Technische Universitšt Dresden, where he taught a class called Introduction to Interstellar Flight and Propulsion Physics, a course he would also teach at Purdue University last November. The former head of NASA?s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project and founding architect of the Tau Zero Foundation, Marc participated […]

  • Enter the ?Clarke Exobelt?
    It?s interesting to consider, as Hector Socas-Navarro does in a new paper, the various markers a technological civilization might leave. Searching for biosignatures is one thing — we?re developing the tools to examine the atmospheres of planets around nearby stars for evidence of life — but how do we go about looking for astronomical evidence […]

  • On Those Ceres Organics
    I set off an interesting conversation with a neighbor when organic material was detected on Ceres, as announced last year by scientists using data from the ongoing Dawn mission. To many people, ?organics? is a word synonymous with ?life,? which isn?t the case, and straightening that matter out involved explaining that organics are carbon-based compounds […]

  • Protoplanets: The Next Detection Frontier
    Some 4 million years old, the star HD 163296 is about 330 light years out in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. When dealing with stars this young, astronomers have had success with data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), teasing out features in protoplanetary disks filled with gas and dust, the breeding ground […]


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