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Is There a Hidden 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet Orbiting Our Closest Stellar Neighbor?
www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Jan 16, 2020 | By Jennifer Leman

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.

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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 zone—that planetary sweet spot where experts believe liquid water could exist—Proxima 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.



TOPICS: Astronomy; History; Science; UFO's
KEYWORDS: alpha; astronomy; beta; centauri; eso; exoplanet; harps; proxima; proximac; proximacentauri; science; uves; xplanets

1 posted on 01/29/2020 2:39:41 PM PST by Red Badger
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To: SunkenCiv

XO Planet Ping!.....................


2 posted on 01/29/2020 2:41:10 PM PST by Red Badger (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.......... ..)
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To: Red Badger

They took Ming’s advice...


3 posted on 01/29/2020 2:47:22 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Red Badger

Lot of planets out there.


4 posted on 01/29/2020 2:50:43 PM PST by Williams (Stop Tolerating The Intolerant)
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To: Williams

Yes, billions and billions......................


5 posted on 01/29/2020 2:54:06 PM PST by Red Badger (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.......... ..)
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To: DannyTN

Ming the Merciless?.........................


6 posted on 01/29/2020 2:54:33 PM PST by Red Badger (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.......... ..)
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To: Red Badger

We’ll, there’s an artists’ rendering so it could be true.


7 posted on 01/29/2020 2:59:10 PM PST by yesthatjallen
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To: Red Badger

yes


8 posted on 01/29/2020 3:00:01 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Red Badger

Three Body Problem Ping


9 posted on 01/29/2020 3:01:03 PM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now its your turn)
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To: Red Badger

- 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

/smegheads


10 posted on 01/29/2020 3:16:47 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not Averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Red Badger

Send the panicked GoreBull warmists there.


11 posted on 01/29/2020 3:50:04 PM PST by beethovenfan (Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
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To: Red Badger
Ming!


12 posted on 01/29/2020 5:37:49 PM PST by EEGator
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To: Secret Agent Man
Smeeee, Smeeee, Oh Mr. Lister do I really have to say it!


13 posted on 01/29/2020 6:35:45 PM PST by CapnJack
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To: Red Badger
No but there is another planet on the other side of the sun that we never see because it is directly opposite from earth in the same orbit.

It is exactly like Earth except left and right are reversed, like in a mirror.

14 posted on 01/29/2020 6:43:43 PM PST by x
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To: Red Badger

Icarus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbGGIBTnCXA


15 posted on 01/29/2020 11:53:16 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: Red Badger

whoops


16 posted on 01/29/2020 11:53:43 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: x

I saw that movie!...................


17 posted on 01/30/2020 6:04:36 AM PST by Red Badger (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.......... ..)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
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.
 
X-Planets
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18 posted on 01/30/2020 8:02:55 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: SunkenCiv

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.

https://www.tor.com/2018/02/01/classic-sf-for-young-readers-the-runaway-robot-by-lester-del-rey-and-revolt-on-alpha-c-by-robert-silverberg/


19 posted on 01/30/2020 8:05:54 AM PST by Red Badger (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.......... ..)
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To: Red Badger

That’s one, here’s the other.

http://www.google.com/search?q=the+runaway+robot


20 posted on 01/30/2020 8:14:35 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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