Researchers are enthusiastic about the latest findings on Proxima B. The Earth-sized planet could be hosting an ocean, and thus, sustain life. The discovery is extremely important, as the whole planet itself has been recently discovered. Researchers looked into its features and concluded that there is a possibility of finding forms of life on Proxima B.
Proxima Centauri B is the full name of the exoplanet. Its discovery was made public this summer, in August. Researchers described it as very similar to Earth in sizes, and it seems like the similarities go beyond that. However, it is slightly larger than Earth, and it is located 4.25 light-years away from us, orbiting the star Proxima Centauri.
Scientists account for the fact that Proxima B is orbiting the habitable area of its star. Moreover, it could even display liquid oceans on its surface. This means that the temperature is not too cool to prevent the existence of liquid water.
Researchers explain that alien forms of life might be extremely different from everything we know. They could be just molecular organisms. On the other hand, when stating that Proxima B has life-sustaining conditions, it doesn’t mean that they are similar to those on Earth.
Even if Proxima B is proved to sustain life, this doesn’t actually mean that it can support human life. Organisms on Earth and potential organisms in the space are adapted to radically different life conditions, as the scientists stress.
As far as the ocean is concerned, the researchers’ calculations suggest that there is a considerable amount of liquid water on Proxima B. While 0.02 percent of our Blue Planet is covered by oceans, the exoplanet might host water on 0.05 of its surface. Scientists also explain that if this quantity of water were to make a single ocean, it could be no less than two hundred kilometers deep.
When stating the features of the ocean, specialists took into consideration the distance between the Sun and Proxima B. Other important factors were the crust and the core of the exoplanet.
Recent research showed that there are subsurface oceans on Dione, which is one of Saturn’s moons. Two of Jupiter’s moons, namely Ganymede and Europa, also host underground oceans. The difference between the moons and Proxima B is that their oceans are located underneath the crust.
The new study on Proxima B’s potential ocean was published in Astrophysical Journal.
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