Week in Geek - Stellar neighbors
My weekly post for The Rachel Maddow Show.
Week in Geek: Stellar neighbors edition
The Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales, Australia has just joined the effort of targeted observations of Proxima Centauri.
Parkes is one of several telescopes all focused on our nearest stellar neighbor in hopes of detecting something that might be interpreted as a sign of life, or more specifically an intelligent civilization. These observations are being orchestrated and funded by the Breakthrough Initiative, a collaboration between astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and billionaire Yuri Milner. The organization is designed to be: “a program of scientific and technological exploration, probing the big questions of life in the Universe: Are we alone? Are there habitable worlds in our galactic neighborhood? Can we make the great leap to the stars? And can we think and act together - as one world in the cosmos?” You may have heard about their Starshot project this past April when they announced the plan to design develop a fleet of light sail spacecraft that could reach the Alpha Centauri star system in several decades.
Also features: koala bears, freeze-dried vaccines, walking water, and voting from space.
Read the full article here.