Earth Current Affairs - 2020

Existence of Earth like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri confirmed

On May 30, 2020, the international team of scientists confirmed the existence of the planet that is of the size of the earth. The planet is revolving Proxima Centauri star in the Alpha Centauri star system.

Highlights

The planet has the mass of 1.17 times as that of the earth. The mass of the planet was measured using radial velocity measurements with the help of a spectrograph. The name of the spectrograph used to detect the planet mass is ESPRESSO.

The planet has been named Proxima b. Proxima b is 20 times closer to its star than the earth is to the sun. The new planet found orbits its sun in just 11.2 days.

Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri is located 4.2 light years away from the sun. It is a red dwarf star and is one-eighth the mass of the sun. The Proxima b was discovered in 2016 simply as a planet that is revolving Proxima Centauri. The recent discovery says that the planet is similar to that of the earth.

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the sun.

99942 Apophis Asteroid Expected to Fly Close to the Earth

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has predicted that asteroid 99942 Apophis will fly towards the Earth in ten years. There is no need to worry since the asteroid will be about 31,000km away from the surface of the Earth.

Since it is relatively rare for such a large object like 99942 Apophis to pass so close to Earth, it will offer scientists around the world a great opportunity to conduct a close-up study of the Apophis’ shape, composition and possibly even its interior.

NASA has stated that about 2 billion people should be able to see it pass by with their naked eyes as it flies above Earth from the east coast to the west coast of Australia, then across the Indian Ocean and the equator, before moving west above Africa and finally over the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists predict that Apophis still has a small chance of impacting Earth, less than 1 in 100,000 many decades from now.

99942 Apophis

Asteroid 99942 Apophis was discovered by US astronomers in 2004 and was named after the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction. It is a 370-meter diameter near-Earth asteroid.