Tuesday, May 16, 2017

EarthSky News - May 16 - The Next-Nearest Stars

May 16
The Next-Nearest Stars
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Star of the week: Alpha Centauri

We see this star system as a single star, but it's really 3 stars. Of the 3, Proxima is closer to our sun than any other known star.

How long to travel to Alpha Centauri?

Conventional propulsion and warp drives, plus Breakthrough Starshot's new idea to send nanostarships to Alpha Centauri.

What's the weather like on Proxima b?

The nearest known exoplanet - orbiting the star Proxima Centauri - is only 4.2 light-years away. Does it have liquid water? An atmosphere? Weather? Scientists just announced the first tentative steps to explore those possibilities.

Before dawn … Mercury below Venus

The height of this apparition of Mercury comes at its greatest western elongation tomorrow.

EarthSky Lunar Calendars are on sale 50% OFF

A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar. Keep up with all phases of the moon every night of the year. Only about 100 left in stock, get them while you can!

Before dawn … Mercury below Venus

Throughout May 2017, southerly latitudes can easily spot Mercury below Venus in the east before dawn. Mercury is tougher from northerly latitudes. Use binoculars. 

Your rocket is waiting

Okay, it's not a rocket. It's a lighthouse in Grand Haven, Michigan. But with a little imagination ... Photo and title via Walter Elliot.

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