Planet discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri

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24 Aug 2016 20:09 #253626 by Loudzoo
Although hundreds of exoplanet discoveries have been made in recent years this one is particularly interesting. Not only is it orbiting our nearest stella neighbour but it is slap bang in the habitable zone and potentially only slightly larger than Earth!

Watch the vid for more details:


The abstract for the paper can be found here:
www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7617/full/nature19106.html

Aliens picking-up our signals will be looking forward to watching the London Olympics in a few weeks :P

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11 Sep 2016 19:31 #256766 by Lykeios
This is very exciting! I hope we can learn more about this planet in the coming years. I think it is unlikely we'll be traveling to other star systems at any point in the near future, but I hope there are other methods of gaining information about this planet. I'll be watching for any new developments.

Thanks for sharing!

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12 Sep 2016 11:22 #256828 by Hrafn
This is really interesting, mainly because of the singular planet characteristics but also because many scientist believed in the existence of Proxima b a long time ago but we had to wait 20 years to prove it.
Anyway, I do not see any trace of a spectrum analysis or a comparative planetary double take in the article. These are technics to gather data about planet atmosphere and composition, I hope someone is going to do these analysis in the near future, finding oxygen or water in the atmosphere would be a major discovery.

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01 Oct 2016 18:34 #259316 by Sandy Brandoval
Replied by Sandy Brandoval on topic Planet discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri
From what I have read, they use the "wobble" method as opposed to the Doppler shift to view the planet because it does not orbit in our line of sight, which makes it difficult to discover the atmospheric composition.

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02 Oct 2016 08:09 #259381 by Gisteron
Proxima Centauri is by no means a very distant star (it is in fact the closest of them all), but even then I'd sincerely doubt that we can resolve an image well enough to see the actual star as opposed to a lens flare of it, much bigger than the object. To detect wobbling as actual motion across the frame will remain pretty much impossible in practice for still a while to come. The way we detect wobbling is by the cycles of the star changing total distance to our telescopes. If those changes are rapid enough, we get an image of the object that is shifted in light frequency, a doppler-shifted image, if you will. By "rapid enough" I of course mean any change that is so rapid that the shifts our instruments show are too clearly identifiable as to be shrugged off as measuring inaccuracies. In other words, the Doppler thing is how we detect the wobble thing.
As for measuring the composition of a planet... Outside of resolving or at least somehow separating the planet's spectrum from the star's, I don't know that it can be done.

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02 Oct 2016 08:48 #259385 by Loudzoo
Seems like we'll need to get closer to the subject before we can learn the really juicy details we might like to discover!

This is a great paper on what seems to be the best chance we have for interstellar flight: beam propulsion -


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13 Oct 2016 08:37 #261027 by Sandy Brandoval
Replied by Sandy Brandoval on topic Planet discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri
Yes! I had confused Doppler shift for transit photometry. Your are correct, sir.

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