Exoplanets 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.

Insight Mars lander detects likely Marsquake

National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) InSight lander spacecraft has detected what’s believed to be a “marsquake” on the Red Planet. NASA scientists are still working to confirm the source of the faint trembling.

Scientists believe the trembling may not be due to wind or movement of the lander’s robotic arm but from below the Martian surface. If scientists confirm it would become the first seismic activity ever detected on Mars.

NASA’s InSight Lander Mission

NASA’s InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport is a Mars lander aimed to undertake the first-ever thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. Insight Mission will also measure tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars.

NASA’s Insight is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. Studying these internal structures will aid in answering the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets.