Red Dots — the hunt for planets around nearby stars resumes

Last year a team of astronomers led by Guillem Anglada Escude of the School of Physics and Astronomy, found Proxima b, an Earth-like planet in orbit around Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun — now they are looking for its siblings!

The Pale Red Dot campaign gave the public a unique view of the process of hunting for — and finding — a planet around the nearest star to the Sun. Now the international team of astronomers who made that discovery are looking again at Proxima Centauri in the hope of finding more planets there, and are also extending their search to two other nearby red dwarf stars: Barnard’s Star and Ross 154. As the observations get under way, the team is launching another public awareness campaign, this time called Red Dots. You can follow the progress of the observations, hear about the science behind the search, and even see some of the data as it comes in. This is real science in real time. Find further details here and you can follow the observing campaign on the Red Dots website, on Twitter at @RedDotsSpace and on Facebook.