Proxima B Climate Has Potential To Support Life

Posted: May 16 2017, 5:06am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Proxima B Climate Has Potential to Support Life
Artist's impression of the planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Credit: ESO
  • Proxima B may have an Earth-Like Weather That Can Harbor Alien Life

Astronomers have gauged via their observations that Proxima B may have an earth-like climate and harbor alien life forms.

A planet going around our nearest star (other than the sun) may have life forms on its surface. The star in question is Proxima Centauri and the planet is Proxima B.

Spotted in August 2016, this planet is about the same size as our earth. This makes it highly likely that it has a climate similar to the one found on earth. This exoplanet is being further observed by the astrophysicists and astronomers.

It lies in the habitable zone. The amount of starlight it receives is enough to allow for liquid water to exist on its surface. A state-of-the-art Met Office Unified Model, which was employed to study the earth’s climate, a team of researchers simulated Proxima B’s atmosphere.

More research needs to be carried out though to determine whether this planet can support life on it or not. The research effort was published in a scientific journal. A range of scenarios were tested to see which one fit the conditions on this planet orbiting the nearest star.

How the climate would be if the planet was locked with reference to its tides was determined as well. In this scenario, one day is equal to the length of one year.

An orbit like the small planet Mercury possesses was also entertained among the likely scenarios by the scientists. The light emanating from the star near this planet comes within the category of infrared light.

Such a frequency of light interacts with water vapor and carbon dioxide that may exist in the climate. Using the Met Office software, the researchers found that liquid water must be present on this planet.

Other subtle clues pointed towards this planet being one of the few habitable ones in outer space. The mindboggling diversity of exoplanets out there suggests that somewhere someplace life forms must exist even if they are radically different in composition and shape from what we find on earth.

Also we gain valuable savvy regarding our own solar system and its planets via this information gathered from the observation of exoplanets.

The research is published today in leading scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophyics.

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