In 2016, astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable planet called Proxima b, orbiting the star Proxima Centauri, located just 4.2 light years from Earth. Now researchers have documented a second signal, which, in their opinion, comes from a super-Earth orbiting the same star. Thus, this nearby planetary system and its potential have attracted more attention.
Proxima Centauri — the closest to our Sun star. It coexists with the double star system of alpha Centauri. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf with a small mass, which is usually called the dwarfs of class M, it is adjacent to the bright double star alpha Centauri AB (which is, so to speak, overshadowed its cool half-sister).
All of these stars are included in the pale constellation of Centaurus, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Opening the first planet in orbit around Proxima Centauri, scientists began to speculate whether the system and other planets. Astronomers have used the Chilean set of telescopes called “Techniques large antenna array of millimeter range” to track lights that came on the side.
the authors of the new study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, able to analyze data for 17 years of radial velocity of this well-studied star system and determine that the signal coming from a rotating planet.The context ofSmithsonian: astronomers think about the flight to giant ice планетамSmithsonian14.01.2020 The Guardian: the super-earth where you will not be able to live ludite Guardian12.09.2019
Method of the radial velocities is based on gravity and the Doppler effect, according to which the frequency of illumination increases and decreases depending on how the source and the target objects closer together or removed from each other.
the Stars do not remain completely stationary when they rotate around the planet. Under the influence of gravitation of the planets they begin to move in small circles. These movements affect the wavelength of light, the change in the spectrum between red and blue depending on the location of the planet. By monitoring these changes, astronomers can discover a planet.
the Researchers cannot exclude that the study of them the signal is not associated with the activity of the magnetic field of the star, but it was observed during the 1900 days, which is an important sign that we are talking about the planet.
“Even our nearest planetary system can give interesting surprises, — said one of the authors, a postdoctoral fellow and researcher in the Department of physics at the University of Crete Fabio del Sordo (Fabio Del Sordo) in the email. — In Proxima Centauri is a planetary system arranged much more difficult than we thought, and we don’t know how many unknown features still waiting to be discovered”.
Get to know your neighbors a new planet
the Recently discovered second planet of the system, Proxima with probably is something of a super-Earth. A lot more from her than Earth but smaller than Uranus and Neptune. Scientists estimate that it orbits Proxima Centauri over a period of 5.2 earth years.
First found in star system planet, Proxima b is six times less and is 30 times closer to its star, making it warmer still, the researchers say.
Proxima b is 1.3 times the size of Earth and is drawnis around its star in 11.2 days. It is very close to Proxima Centauri orbit: the distance from the planet to the star is only 5% of the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It is even less than the distance from mercury to the Sun. But due to the fact that this star is much cooler and fainter than our Sun, temperatures at Proxima b is such that its surface steaming may exist liquid water.Related articlesNature: astronomers found habitable planet ‘near’ ЗемлиNature09.01.2020 Radio signals from distant галактикиBerlingske05.09.2017
But because of its proximity to the star Proxima b suffers from the influence of such unpleasant factors as ultraviolet radiation and x-ray flash, which is a hundred times more intense than those the Earth receives from the Sun. If the planet has life, this radiation will obviously affect her, but we can only guess what it will have effect.
Although b and Proxima is in the habitable zone of its star, and its surface may be a liquid water, it does not mean that it is inhabited. And radiation, she likely faces rendered her such important for the formation of life elements like hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
And here is the new discovered planet is intriguing because it further research can tell a lot about how a planet of small mass are formed around stars with a small mass, say the researchers. And this specific planet turned on the head the traditional theory of formation of planets such as super-Earth.
It is located outside the “snow line” system, this means that water can be samerseat condition. Usually planets like super-Earth formed near the snow line, but not beyond it.
“the Formation of a super-Earth far beyond the snow line casts doubt on existing models of the formation, according to which the snow line is the most promising place for the accretion of planets of this type due to the accumulation there of solid frozen particles, — says one of the authors, a postdoctoral fellow and researcher of the Italian national Institute of astrophysics Mario Damasso (Mario Damasso). Or it suggests that the protoplanetary disk was much hotter than people usually think. In General, there is nothing that would make impossible the existence of Proxima from where we found her, but the history of its formation and evolution deserves a more in-depth study”.
the Project “Gaia” of the European space Agency in the framework of which creates a three-dimensional map of our galaxy, in the future may help to better understand the signal of the second planet and find answers to many questions.
“Proxima Centauri — the closest to the Sun is a star, and this discovery made her very close to us multiplanetary system,” said Del Sordo.
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