Proxima b: The hunt for Proxima’s wobbler

This week a team led by Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé, an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London, reported in Nature the discovery of a potentially habitable planet orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri.

Quoting Dr. Anglada-Escudé:

“We know there are terrestrial planets around many stars, and we kind of expected the nearby stars would contain terrestrial planets. This is not exciting because of this. The excitement is because it is the nearest one.”

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WISE: NASA’s Eye In The Infrared

This week NASA released this stunningly beautiful infrared image of the Pleiades passing through a cloud of dust.

The image was taken by WISE, the acronym for NASA’s Wide-field WISE_artist_concept_(PIA17254,_crop)Infrared Survey Explorer. WISE was launched in December of 2009. By early 2011 WISE had completed its initial mission of infrared mapping of the entire sky twice.

 

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NuSTAR: Seeing what no one has seen before

Through the first decade of the 21st century efforts at observing what was happening at the high end of the electromagnetic spectrum in space were limited by the “seeing” power of the telescopes being used.

Here’s how energy across the electromagnetic spectrum maps out:

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