Tech & Science: Proxima b Might Be a Habitable 'Ocean Planet' - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & Science Proxima b Might Be a Habitable 'Ocean Planet'

16:28  27 october  2016
16:28  27 october  2016 Source:   msn.com

Our Interstellar Neighbors: 5 Potentially Earth-Like Planets Nearby

  Our Interstellar Neighbors: 5 Potentially Earth-Like Planets Nearby A possibly Earth-like planet has been found within the habitable zone of humanity's closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, and astronomers think the world could potentially support life. While there is still a lot to learn about this newfound world, called Proxima Centauri b or just Proxima b, astronomers are sure of a few things: The Earth-like rocky exoplanet is 4.2 light-years away; its minimum mass is 1.3 times that of the Earth, and it orbits Proxima Centauri every 11.2 days.

The entire surface of Proxima b — the possibly Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri — may be covered in a liquid ocean , according to a new study. While there is still much to learn about the solar system's newfound neighbor

The recently discovered Proxima b planet in the “ habitable zone” of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun, may be covered in oceans . Proxima b , which is 1.3 times the size of Earth, was found to be the planet most likely to harbor life - and as it’s located ‘just’ four light years away, it offers

This image is an artist's impression of the surface of the planet Proxima b, which orbits a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri — the closest star to the solar system. © ESO/M. Kornmesser This image is an artist's impression of the surface of the planet Proxima b, which orbits a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri — the closest star to the solar system. The entire surface of Proxima b — the possibly Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri — may be covered in a liquid ocean, according to a new study. 

While there is still much to learn about the solar system's newfound neighbor, previous research found that Proxima b has two key features in common with Earth: it orbits within the habitable zone of its star — meaning it could have the right surface temperature to allow for the presence of liquid water— and it has a mass 1.3 times that of Earth.  

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Proxima Centauri b (also called Proxima b or Alpha Centauri Cb) is an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri

Using this information, a team led by researchers at the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory in France, developed different models to help discover what the conditions might be like on the rocky exoplanet, according to a statement from NASA. The new findings suggest Proxima b could have a large liquid.

Using this information, a team led by researchers at the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory in France, developed different models to help discover what the conditions might be like on the rocky exoplanet, according to a statement from NASA. [Proxima b: Closest Earth-Like Planet Discovery in Pictures]

The new findings suggest Proxima b could have a large liquid ocean covering its entire surface and stretching 124 miles (200 kilometers) deep, as well as a thin gas atmosphere much like that found on Earth. These features favor the planet's potential for supporting life, according to the statement.

Scientists have proposed different ideas about Proxima b's composition and surface conditions, and the new models provide more information that could help inform those ideas, NASA officials said in the statement. Some of those ideas "involve a completely dry planet, while others permit the presence of a significant amount of water in its composition," according to the statement.

Stephen Hawking: Humans only have about 1,000 years left

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Опубликовано: 26 окт. 2016 г. Proxima b could be a habitable ‘ ocean planet ’ encircled by a thin, gas atmosphere much like our own, according to a The planet orbits within the habitable zone of our sun’s nearest neighbour, Proxima Centauri, and may have a mass just 1.3 times that of Earth, with a

The recently discovered Proxima b planet in the “ habitable zone” of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun, may be covered in oceans . Proxima b could be a habitable ' ocean planet ' encircled by a thin, gas atmosphere much like our own, according to a new analysis.

Using the planet's known mass (1.3 times that of Earth), the authors of the new research simulated different potential compositions for Proxima b and then estimated the radius of the planet for each of those scenarios. The study revealed that Proxima b could have a radius anywhere between 0.94 and 1.4 times that of Earth, according to the NASA statement. 

For one of the potential composition models, the researchers found Proxima b may be an "ocean planet" similar to some of the icy moons around Jupiter and Saturn that harbor subsurface oceans. In this water-world scenario, the planet would have a radius of 5,543 miles (8,920 km), which is 1.4 times the radius of Earth. It would be composed of about 50 percent rock and 50 percent water. The pressure beneath this massive, deep ocean would be so strong that a layer of high-pressure ice would form, according to the NASA statement

Stephen Hawking: Humans only have about 1,000 years left

  Stephen Hawking: Humans only have about 1,000 years left Stephen Hawking: Humans only have about 1,000 years leftDuring a talk at Oxford Union debating society this week, the renowned theoretical physicist said that humanity probably only has about 1,000 years left before we go extinct.

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Scientists haven’t been able to spot Proxima b transiting its star yet, but a new study of the Proxima Centauri system shows how Proxima b could be a habitable ocean planet .

According to their analysis, Proxima b may have water similar what might be lurking in subsurface oceans on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. “They restricted their study to the case of potentially habitable planets , simulating dense and solid planets , formed with the metallic core and rocky

Another model developed in the study suggests Proxima b would have an internal composition similar to the planet Mercury, with a minimum radius of 3,722 miles (5,990 km), or 0.94 times the radius of the Earth. In this scenario, the planet would be incredibly dense, with a metal core accounting for 65 percent of the planet's mass. The rest of the planet would be composed of a rocky silicate mantle, and liquid water oceans accounting for less than 0.05 percent of the planet's mass (similar to that seen on Earth), according to the statement. 

However, ultraviolet and X-rays from Proxima Centauri could leave the water on Proxima b prone to evaporation. To account for this, the researchers also calculated the radius of Proxima b with a completely dry composition. 

"Future observations of Proxima Centauri will refine this study," NASA officials said in the statement. In particular, by measuring the abundance of certain heavy elements in the star system, scientists can further deduce the planet's likely composition, and its radius.

The study findings will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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