Another Exoplanet Proxima C at Proxima Centauri

Two exoplanets might be orbiting the nearest star the red dwarf Proxima Centauri that’s about 4.24 light-years away. It would not be in the habitable zone where water is liquid.

Mario Damasso of Italy’s Observatory of Turin announced on April 12 during the 2019 Breakthrough Discuss conference that they believe they have discovered Proxima C.

If this evidence is confirmed then it would be super-earth about six times larger than the Earth.

In 2016, the first exoplanet was found at Proxima Centauri. Proxima B is least 1.3 times as massive as Earth that’s perhaps warm enough for life as we know it to thrive on its surface.

SOURCES- Twitter, National Geographic, Wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang

15 thoughts on “Another Exoplanet Proxima C at Proxima Centauri”

  1. Wrong actually! Because, Proxima B is a yet to be discovered star. That’s what expert scientists often call the ‘observer-expectancy effect’, or the ‘auto-capitalisation effect’.

  2. No eccentricity was defined for Proxima c, so its orbit could just as easily be perfectly circular, and therefore consistently, and life unfriendingly, cold. However, excitingly it might have gigantic rings around it, and stunningly more impressive than Saturn. The ALMA Observatory saw a dusty glowy-blob close to where this planet was discovered. A spooky surface this planet would have too, with the light from its sun being only 10 times brighter than the full moon on Earth, living-dying in a permanent twilight zone!!

  3. And anti-matter is harvestable from natural processes in some places.

    Some planets have significant magnetic fields and they accumulate a lot of space-made or collision-produced charged particles, anti-protons included.

    Brian has talked about this in the past, referring that there are envisageable schemes for anti-proton mining in magnetospheres, producing kilograms or more of the stuff in a relatively short time. And given the exorbitant prices of anti-matter per gram, producing kilos could be a multi trillion dollar industry (the almost mythical ‘worth billions per kg’ good justifying space mining).

    But I imagine this restricts its feasibility to places with a strong magnetic field, like Earth or the gas giants. Kuiper belt objects or farther are unlikely to have them (unless they are big).

    While hydrogen is everywhere. So it would probably remain the fuel of choice for any deep space settlements.

    But having sizeable sources of antimatter certainly could change the landscape of deep space travel. Allowing us to send ships much farther than ever before.

  4. The problem is, it’s really shitty fuel. It takes more energy than you can practically remove even assuming perfect conditions. The only reason it’s the dominant source of energy in stars is because it’s gravitationally compressed, i.e. leftover energy from the Big Bang spreading things out.

  5. If you use heavy water as shielding/thermal capture for your reactor, you naturally get tritium breeding.

  6. I don’t think fusion is so hot 😉

    I think, as sci-fi as it sounds, antimatter should be much better. Risk of accident is higher, but it should be much more energy per mass of the spacecraft.
    We still have to learn how to make large amounts and contain it. Very dangerous work. Best if done somewhere other than Earth.
    If we do learn to use it…it might also be good for blowing up asteroids on a trajectory for Earth.
    1,000 lb of antimatter would make short work of just about any asteroid that could hit the Earth.

  7. I don’t know why he thinks it would be difficult to pull hydrogen out of a gas giant. You wouldn’t need a huge amount. Just skim the surface with a shuttle with a long tether attached.

  8. It may not be the best, but it is still something you can fuse. We are just not that great at it right now.

  9. Tritium can also be bred by irradiating deuterium. Just not as easily, I guess.

    An even harder future option is CNO fusion, which burns regular hydrogen. CNO output is very strongly temperature dependent, and since temperature is the easiest fusion parameter to increase, I’m optimistic that we can make it work.

    Extracting hydrogen from the top of a gas giant’s atmosphere should be relatively easy. Much harder from a star. But other than that and water ice, there are also methane and ammonia ices, various organic molecules in carbonaceous asteroids and places like Titan, and maybe other sources.

    However, even with fusion, you may need way more hydrogen for interstellar travel than you might guess, unless you’re ok with going slowly, taking centuries or more to reach the nearest star. The energies needed are enormous, and the rocket equation is a b*tch.

  10. Well, with that said, fusion is very efficient so bringing your own fuel wouldn’t be too much of an issue, and even local production wouldn’t need to be large, so you’d probably be ok without needing to access large bodies of hydrogen.

    Other issues pertaining to life in space would likely be more of a concern for would-be settlers than energy generation.

  11. Hydrogen actually makes for very poor fusion fuel, right now the fusion efforts are directed at deuterium-tritium (hydrogen isotopes) of which the first can be extracted from hydrogen (1 in 6420 atom of hydrogen is deuterium), but the second, tritium, is produced by irradiating lithium.

    Deuterium-Deuterium fusion – which would be the type that only requires filtering hydrogen – is also feasible but harder, so even if we figure out deuterium-tritium fusion, we still won’t be at the point where “everything is a source of energy”. Also, even if hydrogen is abundant in the universe, it’s not necessarily easy to extract directly from a star or even a gas giant. More likely, you’d extract it from water (that you’d require for human life anyways).

  12. Once we get fusion, esp.
    Once you have fusion, everything is a source of energy[well, hydrongen, anyways, but that is almost *everything*]
    You could “island hop” your colonies across the Oort Cloud to the nearest starts for millenia that way.

  13. Where there’s two, there are more.

    There ought to be plenty of planets and planetoids around Proxima, enough for a far future wave of settlers to use and survive from them.

    Once we know how to live from space resources, it’s just a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ we’ll make it to the stars.

    Of course, it can take centuries, but that’s a blink of an eye for the universe.

  14. B is the first planetary body detected, c the second and so on.

    There’s no ‘a’, or rather that would be the star.

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