Friday, July 27, 2018

"Standing on Proxima B: Closest Exoplanet to Earth"

Drexler Astral provides us with a short film “Standing on Proxima B: Closest Exoplanet to the Earth”

The film is six months old, but this exoplanet, despite its nearness, wasn’t discovered until 2016.

The planet is thought to have a mass of about 1.3 times the Earth and probably be tidally locked around the dwarf star. The star is unstable, so solar storms would have blown away most of the atmosphere and sterilized the surface with solar radiation.

The Wikipedia article is more optimistic than the film about the possible habitability of the planet, especially in the probably permanent twilight zone. It may be conceivable that some atmosphere survived.  If it is thick enough and has some water, it could be warmer, although the film thinks it averages about -20 F. 

See also short on July 17, 2017 (and illustration there).  See also June 12 for another Drexler short. 
It would take something like an anti-matter drive to reach even the nearest star in only a few decades.

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