Sci/Tech Astronomers Confirm Existence Of Earth-like Planet That Orbits The Nearest Star From The Sun

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    An international team of astronomers have made observations that confirm that our nearest star neighbour, Proxima Centauri does host Proxima b, an Earth-like planet in its habitable zone.

    Located about 4.2 light-years from our Sun in the constellation Centaurus, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Solar System. Back in 2013, astronomers had first detected the presence of a planet around the red dwarf star. Later on, in 2016, astronomers made radial velocity measurements using ESO’s HARPS instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. They were able to understand a lot about the orbital path of the potential exoplanet Proxima b and estimated that it was 1.3 times the mass of Earth.

    Now in a new study that has been accepted to be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, astronomers have confirmed that the exoplanet does exist. The discovery was made with new radial velocity observations from the ESPRESSO on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. The new observations were about three times more precise than those obtained with HARPS.

    The lead author of the new study, Alejandro Suarez Mascareño said in a press release that by “Confirming the existence of Proxima b was an important task, and it’s one of the most interesting planets known in the solar neighbourhood.”

    Read more here. (Mashable, India)

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