A baby star has been found only 27 light years away.
AP Columbae lies in the constellation Columba the Dove, south of the brilliant constellation Orion. “AP Columbae is still contracting under gravity towards the main sequence,” says astronomer Adric Riedel of Georgia State University in Atlanta, whose team measured the star’s parallax—an indication of its distance—and discovered that the star is abnormally luminous. Although the star is dim and red, it’s four times as bright as it should be, because it’s twice the diameter of a main-sequence star of the same color.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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