Yesterday (24-August-2016) there has been a lot of news about the newly discovered planet. I don’t have all the information yet, so I’m going to keep this article short.
Far as I can gather, this newly discovered planet is earth size and up to 1,3 earth size in orbit around Alpha Century Proxmia. This planet is tidal locked and it is my view that rules out life on the planet as one side of the planet gets always warmed up. This planet is also in a orbit around red dwarf, that means (as I see it) that the energy the planet gets on the surface is too little energy overall to keep water floating, or as water vapour. Radiation might also be a problem, given that Jupiter in our own solar system emits deadly ration and some of its moons cross that radiation barrier. That might also be the case in Alpha Century Proxima b. Destroying the possibly of life, even if it did not exist on the surface. This does not rule out atmosphere on the planet, what type of atmosphere it might hold is impossible to know.
There is a lot of question unanswered about the Alpha Century systems, both Alpha Century Ab and Proxima. There is a good chance there are more planets around Proxmia, even if they have not yet been discovered (due to distance from the central star). There might also be planets orbiting Ab stars in the Alpha Century system, even if they have not been discovered so far. I hope that new planets get discovered around Alpha Century star system once the James Webb Space telescope (Wikipedia) gets on-line in 2019, after being lunched in October 2018.
This has been in the news all week. Scientists have found exoplanet around Alpha Centauri-B. This planet is in highly close orbit around Alpha Centauri-B. While this planet it self does not support life in any form. It opens up the possiblity that Alpha Centauri-A and B might have planets with life on them. Earth has life and is not so unique in my view.
This also makes Alpha Centauri A and B prime targets for searching alien civilizations close to our own solar system. But Alpha Centauri is just 4.37 light years away from Earth. But that means any radio signals are just 4.37 months reaching Earth (give or take). This also makes for a better signal detection at this short distance. If there is any civilization on Alpha Centauri A or B we have no way of knowing it state of technical levels. They might be more advanced then us, or they might be less advanced then us. Or they might still be in caves and really primitive. There is no way to know for sure. There is also a possibility that just life might exist in Alpha Centauri A-B system. But without any civilization at all. There is also chance if there was a civilization in the Alpha Centauri A-B solar system that it is long gone for one reason or other. Whatever the case actually is. This planet is a good hope that more planets might exist just 4.37 light years away from Earth.
But one thing is clear. We are never going to know without science studies in that direction. It is also my view that we need to study our closest star better then we already do. This applies mostly to the stars that are close to our own sun in size and brightness. Since the chance of finding planets like our Earth is highest around such stars. Rather then larger and heavier stars. Like blue giants and such. In that case. I think there might be planets around Sirius (8.6 light years away). But I do not think any such planet is likely to have any life on them. But I might be totally wrong in this estimate. But the only way to find out for sure is to study space, as it is human race most important step into the future.
News about this discovery
Next Door Neighbors? Earth-Sized Planet Discovered in Nearest Star System to Us (Universe Today)
Exoplanet around Alpha Centauri is nearest-ever (BBC News)
Alpha Centauri 3 (Solstation)
Sirius 2 (Solstation)
Alpha Centauri (Wikipedia)