Visits to Proxima Centauri’s planet are probably millennia away

Even alpha particle propulsion is too slow for trip to new world

illustration of the distance to Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri, the nearest member of the Alpha Centauri triple star system, is just a little more than 4 light-years away from the sun. With a proposed propulsion scheme using alpha particle decay, travel time to the star's newly discovered planet would be no shorter than 4,000 years.

Illustration adapted from Pale Red Dot/ESO; Background: A. Fujii/ESO

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