“Is Our Nearest Star’s Planet Proxima B Habitable?” –Three Top Astrophysicists Ponder




The discovery of Proxima b is the biggest exoplanet discovery since the discovery of exoplanets. The planet is not much bigger than Earth and resides in the “habitable zone” of the Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor, the red-dwarf star Proxima Centauri. This planet may represent humanity’s best chance to search for life among the stars. But is Proxima b habitable? Is it inhabited? These questions are impossible to answer at this time because we know so little about the planet, but three astrophysicists have proposed possible answers.


Hubble Captures Mysterious Rebirth of a Star –“The 1st Ever Observed”




An international team of astronomers using Hubble have been able to study stellar evolution in real time. Over a period of 30 years dramatic increases in the temperature of the star SAO 244567 have been observed. Now the star is cooling again, having been reborn into an earlier phase of stellar evolution. This makes it the first reborn star to have been observed during both the heating and cooling stages of rebirth.


China to Launch Spacelab Next Week –“1st Step Toward Being the World’s De Facto Space Station”




“The vast majority of space technology being developed is dual-use, and so serves Chinese security interests as well,” says Johnson-Freese, an expert on the Chinese space program and a professor at the US Naval War College. “China understands the military advantages reaped by US space capabilities for many years, and wants those same capabilities”.


China’s Largest Telescope Sights an Asteroid Approaching Earth




The telescope at China’s Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing has captured images of an asteroid approaching Earth. The asteroid, coded as 2009ES by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), was observed Wednesday night. This is the first time that a telescope in China has captured images of the asteroid, one of 1,640 minor bodies listed by MPC that could have a close encounter with the Earth.


“China May Be Earth’s First Nation to Detect Alien Life” –Poised to Flip ‘ON’ Switch of World’s Largest, Most Powerful Radio Telescope




China is ready to put on the “ear phones” and flip the “ON” switch for the world’s largest, most powerful radio telescope, that is nearing completion in a vast, bowl-shaped valley in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou by the end of September, accompanied by regulations to protect the facility. Its unrivaled precision will allow astronomers to survey the Milky Way and other galaxies and detect faint pulsars, and work as a powerful ground station for future space missions.



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