Proxima Centauri 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.

Proxima Centauri may host planetary system: Study

Scientists have detected dust belts around Proxima Centauri, a finding that indicates presence of elaborate planetary system hosted by closest star to solar system. These new observations were made by Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) observatory in Chile.

Key Facts

The new observations reveal emission from clouds of cold cosmic dust surrounding star. It revealed glow coming from cold dust in region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as Earth is from Sun. It also reveals presence of even cooler outer dust belt and may indicate presence of system of planets. These structures are similar to much larger belts in solar system and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets.

Proxima Centauri

It is closest star to Sun around 4.25 light years away from the Earth. It is faint red dwarf lying just four light years away in southern constellation of Centaurus. It hosts an Earth-like habitable planet — Proxima Centaur b — orbiting within (Proxima Centauri) its habitable zone which was discovered in 2016.

ALMA Observatory

Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) Observatory is array of radio telescopes being deployed in Chile. It is composed of 66 high precision antennas that allow scientists to unravel important astronomical mysteries, in search of our Cosmic Origins. One of its goals is to image black hole.

It is an international partnership of European Southern Observatory (ESO), US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with Chile.