RASC Regular Meeting
Dec 12, 2016
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

2016212_Proxima_CentauriRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Martin Beech
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

Our closest stellar neighbor provides us with many astrophysical mysteries, but, for all this, it also provides us with numerous opportunities for discovery. While a single star to the naked-eye, alpha-Centauri is actually a triple-star system – the more massive binary component, alpha-Centauri A & B, bookends in mass what our Sun could have been and it provides us with clues as to the future evolution of our solar system. The third component, Proxima Centauri, an example of the most common type of star in the galaxy, was discovered 101 years ago, and is now known to host at least one Earth-mass planet.

In this talk Martin Beech will explore some of the as yet unsolved astronomical problems relating to the alpha-Centauri system, and he will also discuss the on-going search for associated planets. Finally, looking to the distant future, I will briefly review some of the current ideas concerning the possibility of directly exploring the system with interstellar space probes.

20161212_Martin_Beech20161212_alpha_centauri_book_overAbout Martin Beech

Martin Beech is Professor of Astronomy at Campion College, The University of Regina. His research over the past 25 years has covered areas as diverse as star formation, small solar system bodies, the history of astronomy and the search for extraterrestrial mega-structures.

He received a BSc Hons and an MSc (Sussex, UK), and a PhD from the University of Western Ontario. Beech has authored numerous books on astronomy and physics, including: Meteors and Meteorites, Rejuvenating the Sun and Avoiding Other Global Catastrophes, Terraforming, The Physics of Invisibility, The Large Hadron Collider, Alpha Centauri, The Pendulum Paradigm, and The Wayward Comet.

In 1993, the asteroid 12343 (1993 DT1) Martinbeech was named in Beech’s honour.