Breakthrough Listen, which was created last year with $100 million in funding over 10 years from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founder, internet investor Yuri Milner, won't be the first to search for intelligent life around this star.
A Fourier transform analysis of 2.5 million spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was carried out to detect periodic spectral modulations. Signals having the same period were found in only 234 stars overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range.
Computer simulations by astrophysicists at the University of Bern of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of low mass stars such as Proxima Centauri show that these planets are most likely to be roughly the size of the Earth and to contain large amounts of water.
Genomics and Cell Biology
One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.
Insufficient instrument thermo-mechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10cm/s Doppler radial velocity (RV) precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting Solar-type stars.
Origin & Evolution of Life
The UV environment is a key boundary condition for the origin of life. However, considerable uncertainty exists as to planetary conditions and hence surface UV at abiogenesis.
We retrieve vertical and meridional variations of methane mole fraction in Titan's lower troposphere by re-analyzing near-infrared ground-based observations from 17 July 2014 UT (Adamkovics et al., 2016).
The processes that govern the evolution of dust and water (in the form of vapor or ice) in protoplanetary disks are intimately connected. We have developed a model that simulates dust coagulation, dust dynamics (settling, turbulent mixing), vapor diffusion, and condensation/sublimation of volatiles onto grains in a vertical column of a protoplanetary disk.
The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars.
Biosignatures & Paleobiology
Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history.
A comet strike may have triggered the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a rapid warming of the Earth caused by an accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide 56 million years ago, which offers analogs to global warming today.
Recent Status Reports