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Astronomers Find Indication of Many Planets Orbiting Solar System Closest to Ours

Image: Astronomers Find Indication of Many Planets Orbiting Solar System Closest to Ours

(NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

By    |   Sunday, 05 Nov 2017 08:12 PM

Many planets may exist orbiting Proxima Centaur, the nearest star to our Solar System, The Independent has reported.

Astronomers came to this conclusion after they discovered belts of cold dust surrounding Proxima Centaur, which they say is an indication that many more objects, including planets, are there that have yet to be found.

Last year scientists discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, which is more than four light-years from Earth. The planet is moving in a zone that would make liquid water on its surface a possibility, according to the BBC.

Astronomers made the latest discovery of the band of debris using the ALMA telescope in Chile. The Verge reported that the scientists specifically looked for such objects, since they surmised other systems must have something similar to asteroid belts in our own Solar System.

The discovery makes the Proxima Centauri system even more interesting to researchers, who have already proposed a plan called Breakthrough Starshot, in which a tiny spacecraft would be launched to the Proxima Centauri system using lasers.

Enrique Macías, a Boston University astronomer and a study team member, told The Verge that so much debris surrounding Proxima Centauri is most likely leftover material that didn’t form into planets during the time of the system’s creation, which leads experts to believe that they are more planets in the system which have yet to be found.

“Our observation seems to indicate there are going to be more planets, because we see a lot of complexity,” Macías said. “In the close future we’re going to detect other planets in the system for sure.”

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Many planets may exist orbiting Proxima Centaur, the nearest star to our Solar System, The Independent has reported.
astronomers, solar system, planets, moon, sun
289
2017-12-05
Sunday, 05 Nov 2017 08:12 PM
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