Proxima

Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri Life

Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri

"Towards the end of the 21st century, a call for help reaches Earth from the star closest to the sun, Proxima Centauri," begins the blurb for "Proxima Rising." The end of the century is still far off, but an apparently non-natural radio signal from the red dwarf has already reached us. The Guardian was the first to report it, and now the story is going around the world. The data in question was collected by the Parkes Observatory in Australia back on April 29, 2019. "This is the most exciting signal we've discovered in the Breakthrough Listen project," says…
Interstellar medium as a filling station – a model calculation Proxima

Interstellar medium as a filling station – a model calculation

In my book “Proxima Rising,” I describe how a spaceship, which at first is the size of a needle, is accelerated by powerful lasers to 20% of the speed of light. Then it increases its size by collecting material from its surroundings. But isn’t that totally unrealistic? Isn’t space just empty between the stars? No. I’m sure you had already guessed that answer, because hopefully you know I’m trying hard to write scientifically possible science fiction. The vacuum in space is not empty. From a quantum-physics perspective, it is anything but, however I’m not referring to that. Normal interstellar…
How to send a spaceship to the closest star using lasers Proxima

How to send a spaceship to the closest star using lasers

The StarShot program wants to accelerate mini-spaceships by means of laser bombardment to a velocity of one-quarter the speed of light so that they can reach our neighboring star, Proxima Centauri, within the foreseeable future. The technology sounds feasible, but still must overcome a few hurdles. Imagine you had to keep a ball floating in the air using a hairdryer. You will automatically think of a ping-pong ball floating a few inches above a fan. But could you accomplish this feat with a soccer ball located thirty feet above you? The hairdryer would have to be much larger and…
Superflare from red dwarf observed Proxima

Superflare from red dwarf observed

2MASS J02365171-5203036 is a rather inconspicuous red dwarf of spectral class M2. It travels through the universe approximately 123 light years from Earth and normally has a luminosity of approximately one-thousandth of that of our Sun’s. On 9 August 2017, however, it experienced an outburst that made it noticeable even in the Hubble Space Telescope’s data: it released energy of 1.3 * 1032 erg over a very short period of time – for comparison, a typical solar eruption measures approximately 1027 erg/s. That is a quantity that corresponds, for example, converted to food energy, to ten billion tons of…