Skip to comments.Is There a Hidden 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet Orbiting Our Closest Stellar Neighbor?
Posted on 01/29/2020 2:39:41 PM PST by Red Badger
A new exoplanet only 4.2 light years away would prove that there's plenty left to discover in our own cosmic backyard.
Scientists have found evidence of a new exoplanet candidate orbiting our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri.
This exoplanet candidate, Proxima c, likely has a mass six times that of Earth.
But it's unlikely that life would survive on the planet, given its frigid temperatures.
The red dwarf star Proxima Centauri is our closest stellar neighbor; the star system is a measly 4.2 light years from Earth and can be seen with the naked eye. Because of this proximity, the system has long been a target of scientific inquiry and intrigue. In 2016, researchers discovered Proxima b, which has a mass similar to Earth's and an orbital period of 11 days, within the star system's habitable zone.
Even though it has been found in the habitable zonethat planetary sweet spot where experts believe liquid water could existProxima b is tidally locked, meaning only one side of the planet faces its sun.
Now, there's a new exoplanet candidate in town: Proxima c. Evidence suggests that it has a mass roughly six times that of Earth and orbits its star once every 5 years, according to a research published Jan. 15 in the journal Science Advances.
But because Proxima Centauri is a relatively dim star, Proxima c is likely to be an extremely frigid world. Temperatures on the planet could dip as low as -388 degrees Fahrenheit, Space.com reports. It's unlikely we'd find life on such a chilly world.
An international team of researchers analyzed 17 years worth of data from the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher) and the UVES (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph)both of which are installed on European Southern Observatory telescopes in Chile. The scientists noticed that Proxima Centauri experienced an unexplained wobble that could be explained by the gravitational tug of another planet.
For now, Proxima c remains only an exoplanet candidate as scientists train additional planet-hunting instruments on the star system to confirm the object's existence. But such a startlingly discovery so close to home would show just how much more there is to learn about the stars lying in our cosmic backyard.
XO Planet Ping!.....................
They took Ming’s advice...
Lot of planets out there.
Yes, billions and billions......................
Ming the Merciless?.........................
We’ll, there’s an artists’ rendering so it could be true.
Three Body Problem Ping
- red dwarf -
its cold outside
no kind of atmosphere
i’m all alone
more or less
let me fly
high away from here
fun fun fun
in the sun sun sun
fun fun fun
in the sun sun sun
Send the panicked GoreBull warmists there.
It is exactly like Earth except left and right are reversed, like in a mirror.
I saw that movie!...................
Thanks Red Badger. Irrelevant sidebar -- the first two sci-fi books I read were "Revolt on Alpha C" and "The Runaway Robot". Found 'em in the cupboard in one of my elementary school classrooms.
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Revolt on Alpha C is a juvenile science fiction novel by American writer Robert Silverberg, published by Crowell in 1955. It was Silverberg’s first published book.
That’s one, here’s the other.
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