Author Topic: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system  (Read 9169 times)

Offline Star One

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Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #40 on: 11/27/2016 06:52 PM »
Thank you for that. Why didn't they name all three stars in the system at once as it seems illogical not to do so? Also what is likely to be the name for Alpha Centauri B?

Alpha Centauri B has never had a proper name (or more accurately, originally Rigil Kentaurus was the name of both A and B because to naked eye they appear as a single star). So IAU would probably have to come up with something new, which is obviously more complicated than just making an old name official.

Just a shame that because Proxima Centauri's planet hasn't been directly observed yet it cannot be officially named.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2016 06:52 PM by Star One »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #41 on: 11/28/2016 12:47 AM »
Thank you for that. Why didn't they name all three stars in the system at once as it seems illogical not to do so? Also what is likely to be the name for Alpha Centauri B?

Alpha Centauri B has never had a proper name (or more accurately, originally Rigil Kentaurus was the name of both A and B because to naked eye they appear as a single star). So IAU would probably have to come up with something new, which is obviously more complicated than just making an old name official.

Just a shame that because Proxima Centauri's planet hasn't been directly observed yet it cannot be officially named.

There's still a chance that it is a statistical fluke. Until they fully confirm it, it would be premature to name it.

Offline CuddlyRocket

Thank you for that. Why didn't they name all three stars in the system at once as it seems illogical not to do so? Also what is likely to be the name for Alpha Centauri B?

Alpha Centauri B has never had a proper name (or more accurately, originally Rigil Kentaurus was the name of both A and B because to naked eye they appear as a single star). So IAU would probably have to come up with something new, which is obviously more complicated than just making an old name official.

There's probably a bit of a debate within the WGSN. They could put it out to the public, but most likely is that they'll eventually choose an existing name by which Alpha Centauri is known in some other culture. (There was a suggestion that A be named Rigil and B Kentaurus, but Rigil was felt too similar to Rigel (Beta Orionis).)

Just a shame that because Proxima Centauri's planet hasn't been directly observed yet it cannot be officially named.

Most (all?) of the exoplanets that have been officially named haven't been directly observed yet. The test is that there's consensus among the professional astronomical community that the planet exists; which probably requires independent verification. As for the name, there's talk of another NameExoWorlds public process, but they could just leave it to the discoverers to suggest something appropriate.

Offline Star One

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #43 on: 11/28/2016 12:04 PM »
Thank you for that. Why didn't they name all three stars in the system at once as it seems illogical not to do so? Also what is likely to be the name for Alpha Centauri B?

Alpha Centauri B has never had a proper name (or more accurately, originally Rigil Kentaurus was the name of both A and B because to naked eye they appear as a single star). So IAU would probably have to come up with something new, which is obviously more complicated than just making an old name official.

There's probably a bit of a debate within the WGSN. They could put it out to the public, but most likely is that they'll eventually choose an existing name by which Alpha Centauri is known in some other culture. (There was a suggestion that A be named Rigil and B Kentaurus, but Rigil was felt too similar to Rigel (Beta Orionis).)

Just a shame that because Proxima Centauri's planet hasn't been directly observed yet it cannot be officially named.

Most (all?) of the exoplanets that have been officially named haven't been directly observed yet. The test is that there's consensus among the professional astronomical community that the planet exists; which probably requires independent verification. As for the name, there's talk of another NameExoWorlds public process, but they could just leave it to the discoverers to suggest something appropriate.

I suppose they have to be careful with planet naming. If Mike Brown ever discovers planet nine that will be whole kettle of fish being as that's in the Solar System. I can't see that being put to the public vote.

Offline Star One

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Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #44 on: 12/16/2016 07:13 PM »
Quote
Project Blue –  ‏@proj_blue

We’re climbing toward our goal but WE NEED YOUR HELP to blast off toward it. Details/what's in it 4 u:  http://blueks.org  #Kickstarter

https://mobile.twitter.com/proj_blue/status/809383449505263616

Looking at their actually Kickstarter page and they are miles away from their goal, they haven't even reached the quarter way mark.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2016 07:15 PM by Star One »

Offline redliox

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #45 on: 12/19/2016 11:08 PM »
Quote
Project Blue –  ‏@proj_blue

We’re climbing toward our goal but WE NEED YOUR HELP to blast off toward it. Details/what's in it 4 u:  http://blueks.org  #Kickstarter

https://mobile.twitter.com/proj_blue/status/809383449505263616

Looking at their actually Kickstarter page and they are miles away from their goal, they haven't even reached the quarter way mark.

They just reached the quarter mark but there's only ~30 hours left to get the remaining 3/4.  So sadly time's against them but still efforts like this should be attempted.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #46 on: 02/10/2017 07:01 PM »
Tightening the Parameters for Centauri A and B

Quote
When it comes to the nearest stars, our focus of late has been on Proxima Centauri and its intriguing planet. But of course the work on Centauri A and B continues at a good clip. The prospects in this system are enticing — a G-class star like our own, a K-class dwarf likewise capable of hosting planets, and the red dwarf Proxima a scant 15000 AU away. Project Blue examines how we might image planets here as our radial velocity studies proceed.

But we have much to learn, and not just about possible planets. A new paper by Pierre Kervella (Observatoire de Paris), working with Lionel Bigot and Fréderic Thévenin (both at the Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur), reminds us of the importance of firming up our stellar data.

We need to learn as much as possible about Centauri A and B not just because we’d like to find planets there but also because the work has implications for space missions, including the ESA’s Gaia, which will tighten our distance measurements to many stars. The Alpha Centauri stars are important benchmarks for Gaia, putting the emphasis on an accurate calibration of the basic stellar parameters in this system.

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=37114

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #47 on: 02/12/2017 07:01 PM »
FWIW, I'm wondering if there may be a few planetary objects, gravitationally bound to A-B but in a very, very eccentric and high-perihelion orbit due to being ejected by the interaction of the two primaries and with orbital periods of several centuries or even a millennium. A 'frozen Jupiter' or two.

Just out of interest, if a Jupiter-like body (sub-brown dwarf) was orbiting in between A-B and Proxima, would it be detectable at infrared wavelengths?
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Offline redliox

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #48 on: 02/12/2017 09:03 PM »
FWIW, I'm wondering if there may be a few planetary objects, gravitationally bound to A-B but in a very, very eccentric and high-perihelion orbit due to being ejected by the interaction of the two primaries and with orbital periods of several centuries or even a millennium. A 'frozen Jupiter' or two.

Possibly.  We simply don't know what's orbiting either A or B.  There's probably a lot of potential.


Just out of interest, if a Jupiter-like body (sub-brown dwarf) was orbiting in between A-B and Proxima, would it be detectable at infrared wavelengths?

I seem to recall they detected something between A-B and us although it was likely a Kuiper object.  As far as detecting what you're talking about, it would have to be something in a very wide orbit as they already eliminated the possibility of anything larger than Neptune orbiting any of the Alpha Centauri members.  The best guess for the immediate future would likely depend on whatever the JWST can detect when it gets a chance to be aimed there.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #49 on: 02/12/2017 10:25 PM »
FWIW, I'm wondering if there may be a few planetary objects, gravitationally bound to A-B but in a very, very eccentric and high-perihelion orbit due to being ejected by the interaction of the two primaries and with orbital periods of several centuries or even a millennium. A 'frozen Jupiter' or two.

Possibly.  We simply don't know what's orbiting either A or B.  There's probably a lot of potential.


Just out of interest, if a Jupiter-like body (sub-brown dwarf) was orbiting in between A-B and Proxima, would it be detectable at infrared wavelengths?

I seem to recall they detected something between A-B and us although it was likely a Kuiper object.  As far as detecting what you're talking about, it would have to be something in a very wide orbit as they already eliminated the possibility of anything larger than Neptune orbiting any of the Alpha Centauri members.  The best guess for the immediate future would likely depend on whatever the JWST can detect when it gets a chance to be aimed there.

Which is the entire point of Project Blue.

Online hop

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #50 on: 09/12/2017 06:53 AM »
Looks like they are trying again, this time using indiegogo with the option that gives them however much is pledged https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/join-the-search-for-another-earth-science-technology#/

Pretty much everything I said last time still seems to apply, except the part about not hitting the goal. The new goal is an even smaller fraction of the total.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2017 07:38 AM by hop »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #51 on: 09/12/2017 03:15 PM »
Quote
Project Blue‏ @proj_blue 11m11 minutes ago

Look for news about Space Act Agreement with NASA tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/proj_blue/status/907620829390929926

Offline Dao Angkan

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Re: Project Blue to image a planet in the Alpha Centauri system
« Reply #52 on: 09/13/2017 03:05 AM »
BoldlyGo Institute and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement for Joint Cooperation on Project Blue Mission

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The BoldlyGo Institute (BoldlyGo) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have signed a Space Act Agreement to cooperate on "Project Blue," a mission to search for potentially habitable Earth-size planets in the Alpha Centauri system using a specially designed space telescope.

"We're pleased to be working with NASA on this ambitious public-private partnership," said Dr. Jon Morse, CEO of BoldlyGo. "Much of the coronagraph imaging technology needed for Project Blue to take direct images of exoplanets from space has been developed through NASA-funded programs. Having access to NASA's scientific and technical expertise throughout the mission lifecycle is invaluable," Morse continued.

The Space Act Agreement is non-reimbursable, with no exchange of funds between NASA and BoldlyGo. It allows NASA employees - scientists and engineers - to interact with the Project Blue team through its mission development phases to help review mission design plans and to share scientific results on Alpha Centauri and exoplanets along with the latest technology tests being undertaken at NASA facilities. NASA's engagement in its consulting role will be triggered through a set of milestones as technical work is accomplished and the private consortium leading Project Blue raises the funds necessary to continue mission development.

The agreement also calls for the raw and processed data from Project Blue to be made available to NASA within one year of its acquisition on orbit via a publicly accessible online data archive. The Project Blue team has been planning such an archive for broadly sharing the data with the global astronomical community and for enabling citizen scientist participation.

BoldlyGo and the Project Blue mission team are responsible for the funding and design of a small telescope capable of blocking a star's light in order to image surrounding exoplanets. The telescope will take 3-4 years to construct and launch. Once in orbit, Project Blue will perform an intensive two-year study of Alpha Centauri -- the closest star system to Earth -- with the goal of identifying and capturing a "pale blue dot" image of an Earth-size exoplanet in the habitable zone of the Alpha Centauri A and B stars. The habitable zone is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool. While NASA's Kepler mission has shown that terrestrial-sized planets are common in our galaxy, Project Blue would be the first to image in visible light a planet as small as Earth that could potentially sustain life.