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Thursday September 15th 2011    Tim Candler

    From our planet, Alpha Centauri looks like a single bright star.  With the assistance of telescopes, those who can still see, will find that Alpha Centauri comprises three stars, one of which is called Alpha Centauri C, or Proxima because it is the closest star to our own Sun.

     By some estimates it would take seventy five thousand years for a rocket ship from earth  to reach the gravity of Proxima. The optimists, when planning this long distance journey, argue that in order to provide a sufficient genetic diversity it would be necessary to populate the rocket ship with at least sixty people.  The jaded and cynical point out that seventy five thousand years is a very long time.

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