Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Possible new planet found at Alpha Centauri A

Posted on Wednesday, 10 February, 2021 | Comment icon 1 comment

If this really is a planet, could it support life ? Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Astronomers have discovered what could be an indication of a previously undiscovered extrasolar world.
Astronomers have detected thousands of new planets over the last few years, but while many of them have the potential to be habitable, most are too far away for us to ever actually visit.

That's why the discovery of an Earth-like world in orbit around Proxima Centauri - a red dwarf star situated just 4.25 light-years away - was deemed so significant when it was revealed back in 2016.

Now astronomers believe that they may have found an indication of another plant in orbit around Alpha Centauri A - one of the Alpha Centauri AB binary pair - making our closest neighboring star system an even more tantalising possibility in the search for life outside our own solar system.

It has been stressed however that the find - which amounts to a 'planet candidate' - is still tentative, meaning that it has yet to be confirmed that this is definitely a new planet.
"We detected something," said Pete Klupar, chief engineer of the Breakthrough Initiatives.

"It could be an artefact in the machine or it could be a planet, or it could be asteroids or dust."

It was picked up by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile's Atacama Desert with the help of a new coronagraph on the instrument that blocks the light from the stars themselves, thus making orbiting planets easier to see.

"A lot of people say planets can't form in this kind of binary and that's one reason we are cautious about claiming it is actually a planet," said Klupar.

"But if it is, it would be about the size of Neptune."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (1)

Tags: Extrasolar, Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by bison on 10 February, 2021, 17:07
I doubt that a planet would form around Alpha Centauri a, or remain in it long, if it did. Alpha Centauri a and b are quite close together. A planet trying to form around either star, would probably be  disrupted by the gravity of the other, or have its orbit affected to the point that it was thrown into its parent star, or out of the star system entirely.  Then, too, the image in the article appears to be of an elongated object, not one like a planet, which would have enough gravity to pull itself into a sphere.  The deion of the supposed planet suggests that it could be similar in size to Ne... [More]

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Ornate Roman chariot unearthed at Pompeii
Archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved 2,000-year-old chariot in the ruins of a wealthy Roman villa.
Argentinian titanosaur may be oldest ever found
Palaeontologists have unearthed what is thought to be the oldest member of one of the largest dinosaur species.
Photographs of alleged live thylacines released
Trail camera images of an alleged 'thylacine family' have been revealed, but not everyone is convinced.
AI learns how to play old platform games
New computer algorithms designed to beat old 80s platformers could help robots navigate your home.
Stories & Experiences
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2021
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ