proxima b

Here's How we can Detect Plants on Extrasolar Planets

Here's How we can Detect Plants on Extrasolar Planets

The past year has been an exciting time for those engaged in the hunt for extra-solar planets and potentially habitable worlds. In August of 2016, researchers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) confirmed the existence of the closest exoplanet to Earth (Proxima b) yet discovered. This was followed a few months later (February of 2017) with the announcement of a seven-planet system around TRAPPIST-1.

New Study Says Proxima B Could Support Life

New Study Says Proxima B Could Support Life

Ever since the ESO announced the discovery of an extra-solar planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, scientists have been trying to determine what the conditions are like on this world. This has been especially important given that fact that while Proxima b orbits within the habitable zone of its sun, red dwarf like Proxima Centauri are known to be somewhat inhospitable.

Planet Around Stars Like Proxima Centauri Are Probably Earth-Sized Water Worlds

Planet Around Stars Like Proxima Centauri Are Probably Earth-Sized Water Worlds

Proxima b is the subject of a lot interest these days. And why not? As the closest extrasolar planet to our Solar System, it is the best shot we have at studying exoplanets up close in the near future. However, a recent study from the University of Marseilles indicated that, contrary to what many hoped, the planet may be a “water world” – i.e. a planet where up to half of its mass consists of water.

Study: Planet Orbiting Nearest Star Could be Habitable

Study: Planet Orbiting Nearest Star Could be Habitable

A rocky extrasolar planet with a mass similar to Earth’s was recently detected around Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our sun. This planet, called Proxima b, is in an orbit that would allow it to have liquid water on its surface, thus raising the question of its habitability. In a study to be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team led by researchers at the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université) has determined the planet’s dimensions and properties of its surface, which actually favor its habitability.