Shooting for the Stars (and damage of doing so)

Shooting for the Stars (and damage of doing so)

We now know that our nearest stellar neighbor may harbor an Earth-like exoplanet. The Breakthrough Starshot initiative plans to get spacecraft there in only 20 years. However, the “empty” space between us and our nearest star is not completely empty, and the material in the path of these spacecraft may have catastrophic consequences for the mission.

Why is Mercury so far from the Sun?

Why is Mercury so far from the Sun?

Roughly half of all planetary systems have planets much closer to their stars than Mercury is to our Sun. Can a system’s magnetic field during the stage of planet formation explain why half of all systems (including our own) do not have these planets when the other half do?