Wednesday, 17 May 2017 03:45

This nearby planet could be where all the aliens are hiding


Researchers discovered that Proxima b has the right climate for oceans. And extraterrestrials.

Last year, scientists from the U.S., Israel, the U.K, Chile, Poland, Germany, Spain and France discovered an "Earth-like" planet. This planet is juuuust outside our own solar system, only four light years away – that's nothing if you're a flashlight beam! It orbits a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri, so the scientists creatively dubbed it "Proxima b."

So here's the big deal about Proxima b: It's in a spot that's not too hot or too cold for life. In fact, researchers at France's National Center for Scientific Research think it could be an ocean planet, just like our own.

The scientists proceeded to argue (as scientists are wont to do) over whether the planet could actually sustain life. But thanks to a new series of experiments, the researchers think it could be home to an alien society.

Okay, so that's a little bit of an exaggeration. No little green men or interstellar burger joints spotted thus far. But the experiments do suggest that Proxima b likely has a climate that could support life. The scientists modeled the planet using different atmospheres, amounts of radiation and orbits. Findings from the setups looked promising.

“Overall, our results are in agreement with previous studies in suggesting Proxima Centauri b may well have surface temperatures conducive to the presence of liquid water,” the scientists wrote.

Meanwhile, on Proxima b, a team of alien journalists flying star-powered spaceships are writing about their own discovery: a Proxima b-like planet orbiting a yellow dwarf star known to its inhabitants as "the sun." They're thinking of calling the planet "sun b" (not to be confused with "Sunny D," an alien beverage made of chemicals probably not native to our galaxy).

Source: This article was By Ilana Strauss


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