Latest Alpha Centauri Stories

Alien Jellyfish Inspired By Ocean Life
2012-07-09 09:33:18

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online With some inspiration from the studies of ocean life forms, a British space expert envisages alien lifeforms that resemble jellyfish with organs developed to ingest methane and other chemicals for its nutrition, keeping aloft by means of dangling onion-like buoyancy bags, and communicating with pulses of light. Dr. Maggie Aderin-Peacock, a leading scientist at the European space company Astrium, described her vision of what might...

2011-03-14 06:55:00

Just as some drivers obey the speed limit while others treat every road as if it were the Autobahn, some stars move through space faster than others. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of the star Alpha Camelopardalis, or Alpha Cam, in astronomer-speak, speeding through the sky like a motorcyclist zipping through rush-hour traffic. The supergiant star Alpha Cam is the bright star in the middle of this image, surrounded on one side by an arc-shaped cloud...

2011-01-24 07:40:00

Just like out of a good science fiction setting on some far-off planet, our own Earth could soon have a second sun, but only for a limited time. The cosmic phenomenon will occur when one of the brightest stars in our night sky suffers a cataclysmic event -- exploding into a supernova. The supergiant red star Betelgeuse in Orion's nebula is predicted to explode, with the impending supernova possibly even reaching Earth. According to a report released Saturday, the most spectacular light...

2010-10-26 10:20:00

The globular star cluster Omega Centauri has caught the attention of sky watchers ever since the ancient astronomer Ptolemy first catalogued it 2,000 years ago. Ptolemy, however, thought Omega Centauri was a single star. He didn't know that the "star" was actually a beehive swarm of nearly 10 million stars, all orbiting a common center of gravity. The stars are so tightly crammed together that astronomers had to wait for the powerful vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into...

2008-12-10 09:15:00

Twentieth Century Fox makes history by transmitting the first motion picture in to deep space, making THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL the world's first galactic motion picture release. The first deliberate deep space transmission of this highly anticipated science fiction thriller will begin this Friday, December 12, 2008, to coincide with the film's opening day on Planet Earth. If any civilizations are currently orbiting Alpha Centauri, they will be able to receive and view the film...

2008-12-02 08:00:00

Omega Centauri is one of the finest jewels of the southern hemisphere night sky, as ESO's latest stunning image beautifully illustrates. Containing millions of stars, this globular cluster is located roughly 17 000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. Sparkling away at magnitude 3.7 and appearing nearly as large as the full moon on the southern night sky, Omega Centauri is visible with the unaided eye from a clear, dark observing site. Even through a modest amateur...

2008-03-11 10:25:00

A rocky planet similar to Earth may be orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors and could be detected using existing techniques, according to a new study led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The closest stars to our Sun are in the three-star system called Alpha Centauri, a popular destination for interstellar travel in works of science fiction. UCSC graduate student Javiera Guedes used computer simulations of planet formation to show that terrestrial planets...

2006-10-19 08:04:11

More than a decade after the first planets beyond our solar system were found, astronomers have discovered about 200 of these "extrasolar planets," as they're called. Using a common-sense definition of potentially habitable planets, coupled with extensive computer simulations, scientists have calculated how many potentially habitable planets might be detected around other stars by the SIM PlanetQuest mission. ("SIM" stands for Space Interferometry Mission.) The mission, scheduled for a...

2006-09-22 08:46:52

VLTI Discerns How Matter Behaves in Disc Around a Be Star Thanks to the unique possibilities offered by ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), astronomers have solved a 140-year-old mystery concerning active hot stars. They indeed show that the star Alpha Arae is spinning almost on the verge of breaking and that its disc rotates the same way planets do around the Sun. "This result could only be achieved because of the great details we could observe with the AMBER instrument...

Latest Alpha Centauri Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lyra Constellation -- Lyra (the lyre) is a prominent, although fairly small, northern constellation. It was one of Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and also counts among the modern 88 constellations. Its brightest star is Vega (Alpha Lyrae), which together with Altair (Alpha Aquilae) and Deneb (Alpha Cygni) forms the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Beta Lyr is a half separated (i.e. one of the stars reached its Rochevolume) eclipsing binary of a cream-white colour. The...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Centaurus Constellation -- Centaurus (the centaur) was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and counts also among the 88 modern constellations. A constellation of the southern hemisphere, mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), Ptolemy catalogued thirty-seven stars in it. It contains Proxima Centauri, the red dwarf that is the nearest known star (other than the Sun) to Earth, as well as Alpha Centauri, which is a double star to which Proxima...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Red Dwarf -- A red dwarf is a small star on the main sequence, either late K or M spectral type. They have a diameter and mass of less than one-third that of the Sun (down to 0.08 solar masses, which are Brown dwarves) and a surface temperature of less than 3,500 K. They emit little light, sometimes as little as 1/10,000th that of the sun. Due to the slow rate at which they burn hydrogen red dwarves have a enormous lifespan, estimates range from a tens of billions up to trillions of...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Vega -- Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is the lead star in the constellation Lyra, reaching near directly overhead the mid-northern latitudes, during the summer. It's a "nearby star" at only 25 light years distant and together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the brightest stars in the Sun's neighbourhood. Vega is a vertex of the Summer Triangle. Its spectral class is A0V (Sirius, an A1V, is slightly less powerful) and it's firmly in the main sequence, fusing hydrogen to helium in its core....

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Proxima Centauri -- The red dwarf star Proxima Centauri (also Alpha Centauri C), part of the Alpha Centauri star system, is the nearest star to our Earth other than the Sun. Proxima Centauri is roughly 4.22 light years from Earth, 270,000 times as far as the sun. Its apparent magnitude is 11 (very weak, as red dwarfs in general are: far too weak to be observable with the naked eye). Proxima Centauri has often been suggested as a logical first destination for interstellar travel....

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Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.