New planet discovered in Proxima Centauri

New shot of Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighbour

New planet discovered in Proxima Centauri

4 years ago scientists discovered a planet orbiting our closest neighboring star, the Proxima Centauri. Now scientists think that they have discovered a second planet in the same system.

The newly discovered planet has at least Six times more mass than Earth. It takes 5.2 years to orbit around its star. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Science Advances.

The first planet called Proxima Centauri b has a mass similar to the Earth. Its orbit is 11.2 days. First, they expected that this planet may be a habitable planet that contains water. But further studies revealed that its mother star has robbed its atmosphere long ago.

To discover these planets scientists studied wobbles in the Proxima Centauri’s spectrum. To get the spectrum they used the HARPS spectrograph at the La Silla Observatory and the UVES spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope. They analyzed data between 2000 and 2017 to discover the first planet in 2016 as well as the new planet now.

Proxima c is about 1.5 astronomical units from its star. This is about 30 (times) than Proxima b’s distance from its mother star. Due to this large distance, the planet would be very cold to host life. (unlike our sun, the Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf which is very faint)

 

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