Space

Traces of a second planet circling around the red dwarf Proxima Centauri

Red Dwarf Proxima Centauri is considered the secondclose to Earth by a star after the Sun. It belongs to the Alpha Centauri star system, and the distance to our planet is 4.2 light years. In 2016, astronomers have learned that the planet Proxima Centauri b is spinning around this star, its dimensions are comparable to Earth. Now scientists have come up with the assumption that a second planet of a larger size and extremely low temperature is located next to it.

At the moment, researchers have no directevidence of its existence, but the HARPS data of the La Silla Observatory telescope in Chile hint at this. Conclusions about the existence of the planet were made on the basis of fluctuations of Proxima Centauri, which suggest that two objects revolve around it. The strength of oscillation reveals their size, and the period - the trajectory of motion.

Having taken into account all the collected data, scientistssuggested that the mass of the second planet exceeds the earth in as much as six times. Unlike the planet Proxima Centauri b, the second object is located far outside the star's habitable zone, at a distance of about 1.5 astronomical units. The temperature on its surface is -234 degrees Celsius, but only if it is assumed that it is a black body, heated only by a star.

At the moment, the researchers intend to findmore evidence of the existence of a second planet. If they prove it, then with high probability it will be called Proxima c and the status of super-Earth.

What do you think about the new discovery of astronomers? Share your opinion in the comments, or in our Telegram-chat.