September 24, 2018
Latest News
Science & Technology

New data suggests Proxima Centauri star system may reveal host of planets

Madrid, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- A scientific team has released data about the star closest to our sun that strongly suggests the possibility of undiscovered planets after detecting a massive dust belt encircling it, the latest issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters said Friday.

Although invisible to the naked eye, Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star only 4.25 light years away.

What was already known is that orbiting around it is an Earth-like exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b, discovered in 2016 and located in a "temperate orbit," meaning if our Earth was at that same location, the oceans would neither freeze nor boil.

The newly detected dust-belt is roughly between one and three Astronomical Units distant from the Proxima Centauri and has a temperature of around minus 230 degrees Celsius similar to our own Kuiper belt, located some four light-hours _ 30 Astronomical Units _ away from our Sun.

An astronomical unit (AU) is the average distance between Earth and the Sun.

According to notes published by the European Space Observatory and Spain's High Council for Scientific Research, this dust belt discovery is of extreme importance as it signals the presence of a more complex exoplanetary system, that is, more than one planet orbiting the star.

According to Guillem Anglada, of the Andalucian Astrophysics Institute and a leading author of the article, "The PC dust belt is located roughly between one and three AU's away, we cannot be more precise but we have been able to calculate its approximate whereabouts," he told EFE.

The discovery has been possible thanks to the ESO's ALMA observatory in Chile, which also points to the possibility of another dust cloud, further away, some 30 AUs from Proxima Centauri, also mimicking the Solar System's Oort Cloud, a sphere of cosmic debris enveloping our Solar System, some 50 AUs distant from our Sun.

Until now astrophysicists questioned the possibility that "a star smaller than our Sun would be unable to retain a dust belt so far away," Anglada added.

Another reason Proxima Centauri's star system is of such interest is that there are plans to explore it by sending very small nano-spaceships equipped with solar sails propelled by lasers.

This initiative, known as the Starshot project, is backed, among others, by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking.

Another reason is that Proxima Centauri may reveal many details of how our own Solar system and Earth were created some 4.6 billion years ago.

News history
New reading device provides alternative to Braille in Mexico

Mexico City, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- Braille could soon be challenged by an alternative reading system that uses a new device based on artificial intelligence to...

Telemedicine faces the challenge of reaching low-income groups

Mexico City, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- The use of digital technologies in distance medicine allows people to access health services much faster than usual and...

Fat from fossil reveals Dickinsonia as earliest known animal, says study

Sydney, Australia, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- Fat molecules found inside a fossil confirmed that a creature called Dickinsonia inhabited the Earth some 558 million...

Wikipedia launches Spanish-language collaborative online news portal

Madrid, Sep 20 (efe-epa).- The co-founder of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia on Thursday launched a Spanish version of its online news portal,...

Alibaba unveils hospitality robot for serving hotel guests

Shanghai, China, Sep 20 (efe-epa).- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Thursday unveiled a hospitality robot, developed by its Artificial Intelligence...

Dolphins understand how to cooperate precisely with partner, says study

Sydney, Australia, Sep 20 (efe-epa).- Bottlenose dolphins understand how to cooperate with their partner and do so with precise coordination, according to a...

Colombian scientist looks at role neurons play in aging process

Bogota, Sep 19 (efe-epa).- Colombian neurophysiologist Rodolfo Llinas, who has dedicated his career to studying the brain, is investigating autophagy in...

Mexican scientists create nutritious edible flatware

Mexico City, Sep 18 (EFE).- Researchers at Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) have created edible flatware high in nutritional content, the...

World expo on latest Internet of Things technology in China ends

Wuxi, China, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- Visitors thronged the 2018 World Internet of Things Exposition in the Chinese city of Wuxi on Tuesday for a last look at...

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to be first tourist to fly around Moon

Washington DC, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The aerospace manufacturer SpaceX announced Monday that the company's first private passenger to the Moon will be Japanese...

World conference on science literacy opens in Beijing

Beijing, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The World Conference on Science Literacy kicked off in Beijing on Monday under the theme of 'Science Literacy for a Shared and...

NASA launches new satellite to measure polar ice height

Washington, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched Saturday its ICESat-2 satellite, which will help measure...

Elon Musk's SpaceX says it has signed up Its 1st round-the-moon tourist

Hawthorne (USA), Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Elon Musk's SpaceX, demonstrating its founder and chief executive's bent for showmanship, announced that it had signed...

ISS crew attend final exams in Moscow before blast-off

Moscow, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The members of a two-man crew who will next month blast off to the International Space Station were undergoing their final exams...

Apple announces iPhone with largest screen to date

San Francisco, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- US tech giant Apple on Wednesday rolled out its new smartphone models - the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max, the last of which...

Florence weakens slightly as it nears coast of Carolinas

Miami, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Hurricane Florence weakened slightly Wednesday to Category 3, but remains a dangerous storm while moving toward the coasts of...

European Southern Observatory captures image of swirly spiral galaxy

Berlin, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The European Southern Observatory on Wednesday released a remarkable high-quality image of a faraway spiral galaxy located in the...

1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Florence approaches US

Miami, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate their homes along the coasts of Virginia, North and South Carolina as a...

Extremely dangerous Hurricane Florence bearing down on US

Miami, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Hurricane Florence, despite the fact that in recent hours it has weakened slightly, is still packing sustained winds of 130 miles...

South African expo spotlights futuristic Artificial Intelligence applications

Cape Town (South Africa), Sep 10 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of experts, speakers and exhibitors flocked on Monday to the South African port city of Cape Town to...

US researchers create world's most wear-resistant metal

Phoenix, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- A team of researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico has designed the "most wear-resistant metal" in the...

100,000 Gamer Olympics contenders, fans gather in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city that organized the 2016 Summer Olympics, will open the doors of its Olympic Park...

American researchers create world's most wear-resistant metal alloy

Phoenix (USA), Sep 6 (efe-epa).- A team of scientists in the United States has created a new metal alloy that is being touted as the world's most resistant...

Mercedes-Benz unveils all-electric SUV in Sweden

Stockholm, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- Mercedes-Benz introduced its first all-electric SUV Tuesday, unveiling the EQC at an event in Sweden, according to a report...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.