Tag Archives: Proxima

This Week in Space: From Paranal to Proxima B

We won’t know if Proxima b is habitable until we can get some sharp telescopes pointed straight at it, which doesn’t happen until next year. But until then, everyone’s an armchair astronomer, speculating about the little red dot. What if it’s habitable? It lies within the habitable radius around its star. If it has an atmosphere, it could even support life. A team of scientists based in the UK has been running models to see what they can tease out of the data we currently have on Proxima b, and ...

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Insane X-ray ‘superflares’ may have made Proxima b uninhabitable long ago

The hype train for Proxima b is impressive. Pale Red Dot, the Project Blue space telescope, and the recent collaboration between the ESO and Breakthrough Starshot represent just some of the money that people have been willing to invest in the idea that there’s a livable planet in the Centauri system, or at least something that we can make livable. But there might be some hiccups before we can pull up our space boots and march off to do some good old-fashioned colonizing. Proxima b is in orbit around Proxima ...

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Nearby exoplanet Proxima b could be a habitable ocean world

We’ve never gotten a clear look at an exoplanet, in part because they’re all so far away. That’s not the case with Proxima b, a small exoplanet that orbits the nearest star to our own, Proxima Centauri. It’s a mere 24 trillion miles away! Hey, four light years is right next door in astronomical terms. Scientists haven’t been able to spot Proxima b transiting its star yet, but a new study of the Proxima Centauri system shows how Proxima b could be a habitable ocean planet. The new study will ...

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Closest exoplanet Proxima b remains mysterious, in the absence of direct observation

Astronomers have been observing Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our own, essentially non-stop ever since a small rocky exoplanet was found in orbit several months ago. We didn’t know much about the planet, called simply Proxima b. But the hope was that it would “transit” in front of its host star, allowing us to get a better look at it. However, new observations indicate that’s not likely to happen. The best we can do right now is make some educated guesses about conditions on Proxima b. Proxima b is ...

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There’s an Earthlike planet orbiting our nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri – but how might we actually get there?

The existence of a potentially habitable planet  orbiting our closest neighbor, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, is both an extremely exciting event and sort of “more of the same.” While Proxima b is just one exoplanet among thousands, it’s the closest extrasolar planet we’ve found so far. We don’t yet know if the planet is rocky or even has an atmosphere, but its mass and location imply the former. Its existence in the Goldilocks zone of its red dwarf, meanwhile, offers the tantalizing possibility of water. There are significant questions ...

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This Week In Space: Lost spacecraft found, Curiosity 360 camera, and a new neighbor orbiting Proxima Centauri

NASA has been in the news a fair bit this week. First things first: they found a lost satellite. STEREO-B is one half of the STEREO mission to monitor the sun, and it’s been lost since 2014 (STEREO-A is still doing fine). Because of a “solar conjunction” with Earth, the probe went out of contact and ended up disappearing. But NASA didn’t give up the hunt, and they finally spotted STEREO-B, in an uncontrolled tumble. As soon as they had it, they made sure it was otherwise okay, and then powered ...

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Astronomers discover Earth-like planet orbiting nearest star Proxima Centauri

Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have announced the discovery of a new exoplanet, or a planet orbiting another star besides our own. What’s the big deal? Scientists have found thousands of those already, after all. But this time it’s different — and historic. The newly discovered exoplanet is at least somewhat Earth-like, and more importantly, it orbits the star closest to our own, known as Proxima Centauri. It’s a mere 4.2 light years away, which is really in our own astronomical backyard. For exoplanets, it doesn’t get any closer. ...

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