European Southern Observatory | Pale Red Dot | 2016 Aug 24
Pale Red Dot campaign reveals Earth-mass world in orbit around Proxima Centauri
[img3=""]https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1629a.jpg[/img3]Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. ...
[img3="Artist's Impressions of the Planet Orbiting Proxima Centauri
Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser"]https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1629e.jpg[/img3][hr][/hr]
Just over four light-years from the Solar System lies a red dwarf star that has been named Proxima Centauri as it is the closest star to Earth apart from the Sun. This cool star in the constellation of Centaurus is too faint to be seen with the unaided eye and lies near to the much brighter pair of stars known as Alpha Centauri AB.
During the first half of 2016 Proxima Centauri was regularly observed with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla in Chile and simultaneously monitored by other telescopes around the world . This was the Pale Red Dot campaign, in which a team of astronomers led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé, from Queen Mary University of London, was looking for the tiny back and forth wobble of the star that would be caused by the gravitational pull of a possible orbiting planet . ...
The Pale Red Dot data, when combined with earlier observations made at ESO observatories and elsewhere, revealed the clear signal of a truly exciting result. At times Proxima Centauri is approaching Earth at about 5 kilometres per hour — normal human walking pace — and at times receding at the same speed. This regular pattern of changing radial velocities repeats with a period of 11.2 days. Careful analysis of the resulting tiny Doppler shifts showed that they indicated the presence of a planet with a mass at least 1.3 times that of the Earth, orbiting about 7 million kilometres from Proxima Centauri — only 5% of the Earth-Sun distance . ...
ESO Discovers Earth-Size Planet in Habitable Zone of Nearest Star
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Exoplanet Exploration | 2016 Aug 24
Rocky Planet Found in Habitable Zone of Proxima Centauri
Carnegie Institution for Science | 2016 Aug 24
New Earth-like Planet Found Around Star Nearest the Sun
Queen Mary University, London | 2016 Aug 24
A Terrestrial Planet Candidate in a Temperate Orbit Around Proxima Centauri - Guillem Anglada-Escudé et al
The Habitability of Proxima Centauri b
Institut de Ciències de l'Espai | 2016 Aug 24
The Habitability of Proxima Centauri b I. Irradiation, Rotation and Volatile Inventory From Formation to the Present - Ignasi Ribas et al
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1608.06813 > 24 Aug 2016
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1608.06827 > 24 Aug 2016