Proxima Centauri is closest to the earth and scientists have evidence of a plant near the star’s habitat. It lies with the orbit’s range where water could exist on the surface. Hundreds of similar planets have been spotted by researches and all these have shown the potential to host life. But Proxima Centauri is the reason for all the buzz because it lies in close proximity to earth with a distance of about 4.25 light years. It can be seen within the range of telescopes. Moreover, it is easier to learn about the composition when compared to other exoplanet found till date.
There were many unauthorized news circulating on the discovery of the planet discovered using the radial velocity method. Many groups are constantly hinting a planet around Proxima Centauri but there is nothing concrete. Meanwhile the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) observes the start for about 2 months in a row for 20 minutes. The latest data informs that the planet looks 1.3 times the size of earth moving in orbits approximately every 11.2 days. This only goes to prove rocky planets are seen around all types of stars.
In the case of Proxima Centauri, it is just 1/8th the sun’s mass and burns less brightly. Moreover, the energy hitting star is just 65% of what earth receives from the sun. This goes to prove that water could easily exist if the planet has a means to trap heat. The planet may not be particularly capable of supporting life. The planet is tidally locked, showing only the same face every time to the star causing permanent night and day resulting in drastic variation in temperature. The closeness of the planet to Proxima Centauri gives it 100 times higher energy radiation when compared to Earth in terms of ultraviolet light. But if Proxima Centauri has no transit then there is always hope for life.
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