A second terrestrial planet discovered around Proxima Centauri



You have a friend at Proxima b

The star Proxima Centauri has long captivated the astronomical community. This is largely due to the fact that the red dwarf is the star closest to the Sun, which means that future interstellar missions like Revolutionary Starshot will probably start by venturing into the Proxima Centauri system first.

In addition, in August 2016, a article published in Nature announced the discovery of a terrestrial planet orbiting in the middle of the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri. The Earth-sized world, dubbed Proxima b, has raised hopes that a potentially life-friendly planet might be lurking right next to it (cosmically speaking, of course).

This is the “snow” place to train

Finding a second planet around Proxima Centauri not only increases the appeal of exploring the system more closely, but also raises important questions about a feature of planetary systems called the snow line.

The snow line refers to the minimum distance from a star at which molecules (such as water, methane, or carbon dioxide) “freeze” and become solid. According to most models of planet formation, it is easier to create a super-Earth planet when it forms near the snow line, as the grains of ice tend to assemble faster and easier.

As the authors of the new study write in their article: “The formation of a super-Earth far beyond the snow line challenges the formation models that the snow line is an ideal point for. accretion of super-Earths, due to the accumulation of icy solids there, or it suggests that the protoplanetary disk was much hotter than was usually thought.

However, before researchers can draw general conclusions about the formation of Proxima c, they say they need more evidence to fully confirm its existence.

the new search was published on January 15 in Scientists progress.


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