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Earth’s Closest Exoplanet May Be Having Company

Earth’s nearest Exoplanet might have a neighbor. Astronomers have recently found another planet moving around the star named Proxima Centauri which is a faint red dwarf like thing at a distance of 4.2 light years away to our solar system. Proxima has already been known to be the host of another complete world which is a planet as much as the size of Earth called Proxima b. Therefore, the other world might be called Proxima C here on Earth.

During Breakthrough Discuss conference conducted by University of California, Mario Damasso from Italy’s University of Turin said that it should not be forgotten that the company is just a candidate and this is important to understand. Damasso is a fellow presenter at University of Crete. He and his other colleagues studied certain observations of Proxima Centauri which were concluded by the instrument named High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher. HARPS has been installed on a telescope at Chile’s La Silla Observatory. The instrument takes notice of minute movements of stars which occur due to gravitational pull of orbiting planets. The data gathered by the instrument aided astronomers in discovering Proxima b.

Proxima b has been known to revolve in the favorable zone of Proxima Centauri where liquid water can possible exists on the surface of the world. It has not yet been known if Proxima b has all the potentials to sustain life like Earth does. One thing has been known that due to the tidal pull of Proxima b to Proxima Centauri, this exoplanet has a high temperature daytime and a freezing cold nighttime. Few scientists also believe that due to the flaring rays of Proxima Centauri, Proxima b’s atmosphere has been left entirely messed up. Damasso has said that although their detection can be confirmed, however, further observation and study is required to state anything clearly regarding the matter.

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George Morris

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