From ESO: “ESOcast 87: Pale Red Dot Results” Video

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European Southern Observatory

Aug 24, 2016


Watch, enjoy, learn.

This is the ESOcast that no viewer will want to miss. We discuss the result of the quest to find a planet around the closest star to the Solar System.

The Pale Red Dot campaign aimed to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and the team did indeed find a planet. Even more excitingly, the planet, Proxima b, falls within the habitable zone of its host star. The newly discovered Proxima b is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.

In this ESOcast, the results of this groundbreaking research are explained in detail, providing insights into the following points:

  • The extensive verification process the team went through to ensure this result was accurate.
  • The factors for and against the possibility of life on Proxima b.
  • The nature of a “habitable zone” around a star.

The discovery of Proxima b is a major science result, making this ESOcast a must for those of you curious about one of the most intriguing questions in astronomy — “are we alone?”

More information and download options: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1…

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Watch more ESOcast episodes: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/arch…

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ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

ESO LaSilla
LaSilla

ESO VLT
VLT

ESO Vista Telescope
VISTA

ESO NTT
NTT

ESO VLT Survey telescope
VLT Survey Telescope

ALMA Array
ALMA

ESO E-ELT
E-ELT

ESO APEX
Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope