A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri

Abstract : At a distance of 1.295 parsecs , the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.
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Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Pedro Amado, John Barnes, Zaira Berdiñas, R. Paul Butler, et al.. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 536 (7617), pp.437-440. ⟨10.1038/nature19106⟩. ⟨hal-01769753⟩

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