Alpha Centauri: February 2021

Giant exoplanets on wide orbits have been directly imaged around young stars. If the thermal background in the mid-infrared can be mitigated, then exoplanets with lower masses can also be imaged.

Breakthrough Watch, the global astronomical program looking for Earth-like planets around nearby stars, today announced a new observing technique with unprecedented sensitivity to directly image exoplanets. Their initial observations also resulted in the detection of a weak signal in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A, part of the star system nearest to Earth.