Scientists at Mission Centaur are looking for an astronomical holy grail: an inhabitable Earth-like planet. They believe there’s an 85 percent chance that another planet much like our own not only exists but exists not far from here, in Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to us.

In the short documentary The Search for Earth ProximaSpeculative Films follows a group of scientists on Mission Centaur’s scientific advisory board. The film reveals how Mission Centaur is working to build an imaging telescope for exoplanets (planets orbiting stars other than the Sun) that could help them find the nearest Earth-like planet (or “Earth Proxima”) in the habitable zones of the Alpha Centauri system.

The documentary also captures just how much progress has been made in the search for exoplanets over the last few decades. “Twenty years ago, the idea of detecting exoplanets was considered to be totally science fiction and not worthy of a professional astronomer,” astrophysicist Ruslan Belikov explains. “Now, exoplanets is one of the hottest fields in astronomy, and it’s still growing.”

Banner image credit: Speculative Films, Vimeo

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