August 31, 2016

"We don’t know whether Proxima b even has an atmosphere."

centauri dreams: Remember that in order to have suitable temperatures for liquid water, this world must orbit very close to its small star, at about ∼0.05 AU. by Paul Gilster

'That’s going to make for probable tidal lock, with one side of the planet continuously turned toward Proxima Centauri, the other away from it. It is not inconceivable that an atmosphere can collapse; i.e., we wind up with a world whose atmosphere is largely frozen out on the night side. We also face the possibility that atmospheric erosion from stellar winds can strip the world of its envelope.

'We’re going to learn soon, through David Kipping’s work with data from the Canadian MOST satellite, whether a transit can be detected here, but the odds hover around 1 percent. In the absence of a transit, Loeb and Kreideberg look at what they consider the best option for characterizing an atmosphere: Measuring variations in its heat as it orbits Proxima.'

read more here

"Prospects for Characterizing the Atmosphere of Proxima Centauri b" by Laura Kreidberg and Abraham Loeb here

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