Sunday, March 3, 2024
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Space & Astronomy > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit

Space & Astronomy

Proxima Centauri may have several planets

By T.K. Randall
November 6, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments

Could there be habitable planets in orbit around Proxima Centauri ? Image Credit: NASA
Observations of our closest neighboring star have revealed the possible presence of multiple planets.
Astronomers have detected thousands of extrasolar worlds over the last few years, but while many of them have the potential to be habitable, they are all too far away for us to ever actually visit.

This all changed last year however when Proxima b, a potentially Earth-like world, was discovered a mere 4.25 light years away in orbit around the star Proxima Centauri - our nearest neighbor.

Now thanks to Chile's Atacama Large Millimeter Array (Alma) telescope, a team of astronomers have determined that this nearby system is also home to a cloud of orbiting asteroids.
"So we think that whenever there is a planet around a star, there's going to be some kind of asteroid belt as well," said astronomer Enrique Macias. "It's just debris from the formation of the system."

The discovery strongly points to the likely presence of additional planets.

If this turns out to be the case, given how close by Proxima Centauri actually is, it may offer mankind with a unique opportunity to study an entirely new planetary system in the not-too-distant future.

Source: Independent | Comments (8)




Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Twin 6 years ago
If we leave now we can probably get there in about 40,000 yrs.
Comment icon #2 Posted by FateAmeniableToChange 6 years ago
interesting! i think a major problem any future missions to other solar systems are going to have is being able to enter the inner system due to dense clouds of debris,asteroids etc leftover from planet formation and held by gravity, every star will be densely encapsulated.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
It won't be a problem. Asteroid fields are nothing like they are shown in the movies, they are thousand of mile apart. You would have to be extraordinarily unlucky to hit anything large enough to damage a spacecraft. Spacecraft have passed through Earth's asteroid belt regularly with no incident, the asteroid belts of other solar systems will be no different.
Comment icon #4 Posted by fred_mc 6 years ago
Yes, and since technology and understanding of physics move forward we will probably be overtaken by a ship that left much later but which has technology that can take it there faster.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Perhaps we should send a probe once we get the ion drive far enough developed and worth trying out on a trip.
Comment icon #6 Posted by I'mConvinced 6 years ago
If our solar sail technology works we could be there in 20 years...
Comment icon #7 Posted by I'mConvinced 6 years ago
We're already doing it.  The plan is to send tiny probes, sped up to 1/5th the speed of light by Earth based laser light, to make the first determinations.   
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
@I'mConvinced - Thanks, I said it was one of those days.  After you mentioned it I remembered.  I couldn't remember my daughter's wedding anniversary date yesterday.  Sometimes meds are a bad thing.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Recent news and articles