Astronomers have found another candidate exoplanet orbiting our neighbor Proxima Centauri. A paper asserting these outcomes was published in the journal Science Advances.
It was big news in 2016 when astronomers found a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri (PC), the nearest star to the sun.
That planet, named Proxima b, is probably habitable, and at the time, there was speculation that we may send a robotic explorer there in just a few decades. The discovery of a second planet, even though it is likely too distant from its star for liquid water, is intensifying interest in the PC system.
The finding of this new planet, Proxima c, say that follow-up observations are required to verify it as a planet.
Modifications in the stellar activity of Proxima Centauri indicated the presence of another planet. However, they also say that the information they’ve can’t be defined when it comes to any stellar activity itself.
As a result of its proximity, and also its angular separation from the star, it’s a prime candidate for follow-up observations—and even imaging—with next-gen telescopes.
Proxima c’s mass is about half that of Neptune and its orbit is about 1.5 times that of Earth. Its temperature is about -200 C. Proxima Centauri has undergone enormous scrutiny in the past few years, and that has ruled out the presence of any Jupiter-sized planets between 0.8 and 5+ astronomical models from the star.
However, discovering Proxima c continues to be surprising as a result of its existence challenges models of how super-Earths form and evolve.
The lead writer of this study is Mario Damasso from the INAF Astrophysical Observatory of Turin, Italy. The study is titled “A low-mass planet candidate orbiting Proxima Centauri at a distance of 1.5 AU.” It was printed on January 15.