NASA Astrophysicist: Number of Potentially Habitable Planets Is Greater Than the Number of People Alive on Earth
Proxima b wasn't discovered overnight. The closest exoplanet to Earth in the universe, announced Wednesday, is validation for the hard work scientists have been doing for years to find another planet as habitable as our own.
Mission Centaur, which also focuses on the star system Alpha Centauri, is a new project and a non-profit space mission hoping to launch their space telescope next year. The documentary The Search for Earth Proxima features astronomers involved at the SETI Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, European Southern Observatory, VLT, ALMA, Triple Ring Technologies, Positron Dynamics, Onda Corporation and La Ventana Cine.
"We're super excited about the news about [Proxima b]," co-director Brett Marty told AlterNet, predominantly because it should increase exposure for similar missions. In making the film, Marty's team traveled to Chile and spent a week in the Atacama Desert capturing time lapses of the night sky.
Watch The Search for Earth Proxima trailer:
"From the reports, apparently there's not much info we can actually glean about Proxima b with our current technology. It was detected indirectly and unless we're lucky enough to see it transit in front of its star, it'll be a very long time before the planet can be characterized; before we can know if it's truly Earth-like [has an atmosphere, potentially suitable to sustain life]," Marty explained.
Speculative Films will continue to follow the story as Mission Centaur builds and launches their space telescope and explores Alpha Centauri.
Watch The Search for Earth Proxima short documentary: