The Scientific team is making first steps towards the exploration of one of the planets orbiting around Proxima Centauri, the star that is closest to us. Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years away from the Earth, but scientists claim that the planet discovered in August last year has a great potential in developing life forms similar to life on Earth.
The planet known as Proxima B is about the same size as Earth, and the team of specialists of the University of Exeter will first explore the climate of this exciting exoplanet. Considering that Proxima B also has similar structure and atmosphere as Earth does, there is a great chance that it could support life forms as well.
Thanks to the Met Office Unified Model, the team managed to conclude how Proxima B might be habitable. Also, the newly discovered exoplanet has an incredibly stable atmosphere which is somewhat unusual. However, the stable climate and the mere size of a planet are not indicating that there really is a life as we know it or that Proxima B could be inhabited by humans or human-like species.
Their research was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics journal, and lead author Dr. Ian Boutle explained how they used different simulations in order to have correct predictions and conclusions. They tested different orbits, configurations and climate settings. The main difference between Earth and Proxima B is that light on Proxima B is mostly in the infra-red spectrum which means they interact with water and levels of carbon dioxide differently.
The main goal of this research is not to find life in space, but to explore how Earth’s climate has been evolving and how it will evolve in future as well. Also, this discovery will help them understand the diversity of exoplanets and their climate and potential life forms.
The University of Exeter has one of the most renown teams that works in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. They are highly specialized in exoplanets, star formations, young stars and modern astronomy. The main goal of this research was to put or own galaxy in a better context for the much more advanced understanding of it.