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Earth-sized Planet Confirmed at Nearest Star


bison
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An Earth-sized planet has been confirmed to exist at the nearest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri. The planet is calculated to be only slightly more massive than Earth. It is believed to orbit in the habitable zone of the star, which means that, assuming the existence of a substantial atmosphere, liquid water could exist on its surface. This would, of course, enhance the probability of it being a life-bearing planet.

The planet, called Proxima b, was first observed four years ago, but like any such discovery in science, it must be confirmed by independent observation, in order to remove reasonable doubts about its existence. Observations of exoplanets, especially ones as small as Earth, strain our observing ability to its very limits. 

Please find a link, below, to an article with further details:

https://phys.org/news/2020-05-espresso-presence-earth-nearest-star.html 

Edited by bison
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I wonder how long it would take humanity to trash this planet as badly as we've trashed Earth?

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It's possible that Proxima b is barren, having been affected by the large flares from its star, Proxima Centauri. If it has a strong magnetic field and dense atmosphere, it may be protected. With luck, it's the latter. If so, its inhabitants might have a lot to say about us coming there and trashing the place.!  It'll be a while before we can travel there. Time for us to grow up first !

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17 hours ago, cathya said:

I wonder how long it would take humanity to trash this planet as badly as we've trashed Earth?

Considering that we will be seeing it up close in about 30 years time, (if the small army of tiny space probes, run by lazers on earth, is on track to laungh in 5 years) and each carried a small amount of highly radioactive material to rain down on whatever is there, about 30!

I hate to say it, but this could be used to trash all plantery systems close to us, just in case something is alive on them, or we could mass sterilize all planets close to us that may be habitable.

https://www.space.com/29950-lasers-power-tiny-interstellar-spacecraft.html

Come in peace, shoot to kill.

^_^

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6 hours ago, tmcom said:

Considering that we will be seeing it up close in about 30 years time, (if the small army of tiny space probes, run by lazers on earth, is on track to laungh in 5 years) and each carried a small amount of highly radioactive material to rain down on whatever is there, about 30!

I hate to say it, but this could be used to trash all plantery systems close to us, just in case something is alive on them, or we could mass sterilize all planets close to us that may be habitable.

https://www.space.com/29950-lasers-power-tiny-interstellar-spacecraft.html

Come in peace, shoot to kill.

^_^

I read the linked article. Nowhere does it mention radioactive materials being carried aboard the proposed interstellar probes. Its logical to assume that the power to run the electronics aboard the probes would be extracted from the laser beam propelling it from Earth orbit.

Would the presence of a tiny, wafer-like probe, and it's meter-wide light sail constitute trashing a planet? I trust not. If we found such an interstellar probe on, or near Earth, I expect we'd be pleased, even ecstatic, not resentful.

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9 hours ago, bison said:

I read the linked article. Nowhere does it mention radioactive materials being carried aboard the proposed interstellar probes. Its logical to assume that the power to run the electronics aboard the probes would be extracted from the laser beam propelling it from Earth orbit.

Would the presence of a tiny, wafer-like probe, and it's meter-wide light sail constitute trashing a planet? I trust not. If we found such an interstellar probe on, or near Earth, I expect we'd be pleased, even ecstatic, not resentful.

No just an idea on my part, but push anough of these at 10% light speed, with a very fine highly radioactive material that would rain down on whatever poor creature looking up, and l would say that it is possible.

Certainly glad Hitler didn't take over the world!

:o

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Waiting for better tech to look on this planet. 4.2 light years away is pretty close in space. If we don't mess up our self, maybe we will be able to go there someday !

Edited by Jon the frog
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Speculation aside, even at 17% bigger (and that number may be off), Prox b may be too large to support life. First it would have to have a carbon cycle. Then, that cycle would have to be stable enough to maintain a temp range suitable for life. Even if it had oceans, gravity plays a major role in said carbon cycle.

Actually, the earth is an amazing place and with so many factors that have to meet specific (+/-) criteria, it's not such a crazy notion that advanced life forms may be very rare or nonexistent. Although, it stands to reason that there would be a multitude of worlds like ours, we haven't found one yet. However, there are a few billion still left to sort thru in our galaxy and maybe a couple three outside the MW.

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It's more like Venus than Earth, even tidally locked to it's star.

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Life has shown itself to be remarkably adaptable to various, even severe environments. I seems unlikely that a planet will need to be extraordinarily similar to Earth, in order for life to flourish there. Such life would very likely have the ability to adapt itself to local conditions over long periods of time, even where those conditions were somewhat unlike those on our planet.

 

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