Fantasist & Futurist
- Nov 23, 2002
The nearest star to our solar solar system has at least one earth-sized planet - and the possibility of water:
Earth-sized world 'around nearest star' - BBC News
I suppose it was okay as a first... er... approximation....Ah - my bad - the star is not Alpha Centauri, as the BBC originally reported, but Proxima Centauri
Ah - my bad - the star is not Alpha Centauri, as the BBC originally reported, but Proxima Centauri:
Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star - Pale Red Dot campaign reveals Earth-mass world in orbit around Proxima Centauri
So it's not Centauri Prime we've discovered, but Proxima 3...
Not necessarily. Space is a vacuum so there's no friction. They say they won't know about the atmosphere for quite some time yet. They think it may be tidally locked with the star, which would have some climactic corollaries. They say that without an atmosphere the surface temperature would be around -40 degrees Celsius. But with enough greenhouse gasses, it could potentially be warm enough for liquid water. Quote from BBC: "This planet is at 5% of the Earth's distance from the Sun. However, Proxima is 1,000 times fainter than the Sun. So the flux - the energy - reaching Proxima b is about 70% of what the Earth receives. It's like taking Earth a bit further away, but it's comparable."
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