Proxima Centauri interstellar spacecraft, illustration

Proxima Centauri interstellar spacecraft, illustration

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Proxima Centauri interstellar spacecraft, illustration. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. It lies 4.25 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. The planet Proxima Centauri b orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, and various spacecraft technologies have been proposed to attempt to reach and study this planet. The proposals include antimatter drives, such as shown here. Antimatter propulsion is a theoretical future spaceship technology that uses the energy released by the total annihilation that occurs when antimatter and matter meet. The large amounts of energy would make travel to the outer planets easier, and travel to the stars would become feasible. Antimatter is currently formed in small amounts in particle accelerators.

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