Author Topic: Proxima b  (Read 2477 times)

Proxima b
« on: August 24, 2016, 02:10:25 PM »
A newly released study has concluded that Proxima Centauri, the closest star to us other than Sol, has a rocky planet in the Goldilocks zone. The planet called Proxima b is only about 1,000 years away using currently available technology.

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Re: Proxima b
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 02:27:00 PM »
Wow.  And only 4.2 light years away, which like is the galactic equivalent of a city block away.

Proxima III, here we come!

Offline SGOS

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 04:34:50 PM »
Yeah, but it's got a wimpy sun.  They call it a red dwarf for goodness sake.  It always rankles me that our own sun is nothing to speak of compared to other stars, but a red dwarf?  "Oh, you're the alien from that place with the red dwarf.  Go sit in the back."

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 05:18:17 PM »
Wimpy!? Red dwarf stars will still be around long after all the heavier stars have ended their time in the main sequence. Future life may well appreciate them for their longevity!
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Offline Mr.Obvious

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 05:50:00 PM »
Yeah, but it's got a wimpy sun.  They call it a red dwarf for goodness sake.  It always rankles me that our own sun is nothing to speak of compared to other stars, but a red dwarf?  "Oh, you're the alien from that place with the red dwarf.  Go sit in the back."



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Re: Proxima b
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 07:46:22 PM »
Yeah, but it's got a wimpy sun.  They call it a red dwarf for goodness sake.  It always rankles me that our own sun is nothing to speak of compared to other stars, but a red dwarf?  "Oh, you're the alien from that place with the red dwarf.  Go sit in the back."
They're far more common than main sequence stars.  For all we know, red dwarfs (almost wrote dwarves, heh) are the typical safe haven for life and main sequence stars supporting life are the abnormality.  Red dwarfs are less massive and emit much less radiation and they don't often have gas giants (<12%), but they can support rocky planets like Earth (around 41%, though that figure is a very rough estimation)  Source

Offline SGOS

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 08:07:21 PM »
They're far more common than main sequence stars. 

I didn't know that, and I always thought Alpha Centauri was our closest neighbor.  To think there was a closer star and we couldn't even see it is kind of cool.  It's closer right?  I heard about the discovery on NPR today, but I may not have remembered everything right.

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 08:09:09 PM »
Isn't our future a solar system with a red dwarf? 
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Offline SGOS

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 08:15:36 PM »
Isn't our future a solar system with a red dwarf? 

I heard that's in the future, but the way it was explained to me, at some point, it begins to expand and engulfs everything.  But Mercury might be good place to live for a while.

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 09:22:29 PM »
I didn't know that, and I always thought Alpha Centauri was our closest neighbor.  To think there was a closer star and we couldn't even see it is kind of cool.  It's closer right?  I heard about the discovery on NPR today, but I may not have remembered everything right.
Alpha Centauri is a star system with 3 stars - a binary pair (Alpha Centauri A and B) and a red dwarf (Proxima Centauri).  The distances vary slightly depending on orbits, but the binary pair is around 4.37 light years away from us, while Proxima Centauri is around 4.24 light years away from us.  So yes, Proxima Centauri is the closest.

The binary pair has been known for centuries, but the much dimmer dwarf star wasn't discovered until 1915.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 09:39:52 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Hakurei Reimu

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2016, 12:23:13 AM »
Red dwarfs tend to have severe flaring early in their lives, so they're not so ideal shelters for life.

Plus, they're dim and cool, so even if a planet is sitting in the Goldilocks region, there's only so much you can do with the red photons chemically.
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Re: Proxima b
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2016, 01:18:46 AM »
Yeah, they're not the best places for life.  But they're so common!  If forming life was like randomly firing arrows into an archery field, Sol-like stars would be big but they'd be few and far between, while red dwarfs would be smaller targets but they'd be everywhere.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 01:23:21 AM by Hydra009 »

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 05:35:04 PM »
Isn't our future a solar system with a red dwarf? 
No, the future of our sun is to become a red giant - quite different from a red dwarf.
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Re: Proxima b
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 06:52:55 PM »
No, the future of our sun is to become a red giant - quite different from a red dwarf.
But what's the stage after red giant? Cubs dwarf?

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Re: Proxima b
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 07:49:15 PM »
But what's the stage after red giant? Cubs dwarf?

(You not baseball types might want to look away.)
White dwarf.