Scientists have discovered a flare off of the sun's closest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Many are reporting that it could spell trouble for any hope for life on its exoplanet, Proxima b - but it might also kill off a presumed set of other planets around the star.
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When scientists discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting our closest star, Proxima Centauri b, Gizmodo said it could have been the discovery of the century. But today, scientists are announcing a new exoplanet only 11 light years away that could be even more important.
Ever since astronomers announced the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet less than five light years down the cosmic street, the question on every good space cadet's mind has been whether or not we can colonise it. We aren't going to know if Proxima b is habitable until we can point some very powerful telescopes at it, which won't happen until next year. But until then, scientists are playing around with models -- and one such modelling effort recently came to some promising conclusions.
Bad news if you're looking to ditch this planet for another one far, far away. According to new research from NASA, planets in the habitable zone in red dwarf star systems -- including much-hyped exoplanet Proxima b -- might lose too much oxygen to support liquid water, and therefore, life. Goddammit.
Last week, astronomers announced that our nearest neighbouring star hosts an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone -- an exciting prospect for alien life, and a possible second home for humanity. But before we assemble the interstellar welcoming party to greet our cosmic neighbours, we need to figure out whether Proxima b is capable of supporting life at all. Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, that question could be answered in less than three years.
After a week of rampant speculation, astronomers have officially announced the discovery of Proxima b, a potentially habitable world circling our nearest neighbouring star. But even as engineers prepare for an interstellar voyage to scope out Proxima b for signs of life, some experts warn that M dwarf systems like Proxima Centauri may be unable to support life at all.
In what's being hailed as one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century, scientists with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today confirmed the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri -- our nearest neighbouring star. Details of the team's discovery were just published in Nature.