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Friday, October 21, 2016

Scientists have reported a giant ocean, near the “twin Earth”

A group of French researchers under the guidance of bastien Bruges from Marseille University reported that recently opened in our nearest star system planet Proxima Centauri b may be covered with habitable ocean of liquid water. Still, experts argue whether this planet is in many respects like Earth to be inhabited.

photo: pixabay.com

That in our neighboring star system of alpha Centauri, only 4 light years from us, is the “twin Earth” that was announced in August 2016. This planet is orbiting a red dwarf, Proxima, part of the star system along with more vivid α Centauri A and α Centauri B. the mass of the discovered planet called Proxima Centauri b, b, or simply Proxima, is only 1.2 times higher than the earth. Thus the celestial body rotates at a small distance from its star, because of what day it lasts less than 12 earthly days.

Theoretically, the planet is in the so-called “habitable zone” — this means that the temperature must imply the possibility of the existence of liquid water. At the same time, the fact that the planet is very close to its star may imply that flares it can “blow back” from it, in fact making the planet unsuitable for life.

To understand what are the odds that Proxima b still potentially habitable, scientists have tried to calculate its radius. As it turned out, it is in the range from 0.9 to 1.4 radius of the Earth. If truth corresponds to the first digit, the planet is a so-called supermassive mercury is a dense planet with a metallic core. However, if closer to the truth of the second digit, this means that the planet, like the Earth, is the “layer cake” of rock cores, ocean of liquid water on the surface and relatively thin atmosphere. Such a structure makes a planet potentially habitable. To test their findings, experts plan to wait for the radius of Proxima b will be measured with higher accuracy.

Scientists directed their research for publication in scientific journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Recently, experts have reported the possible discovery of another potentially habitable ocean is much closer to our planet — as expected, it is located deep under the icy surface of dione, moon of Saturn. Previously it was known about five other under-ice oceans in the Solar system: two other satellites of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus — and three satellites of Jupiter Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.


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