New exoplanet candidate found in the habitable zone of the closest star system

Nov 19, 2020

As some of you might know, astronomers have recently detected (through direct imaging) a gas giant exoplanet candidate in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A.

This is the study:

For those interested, I made a video-analysis suggesting the possibility of existing a habitable exomoon around that gas giant candidate:

Would you prefer to have a habitable exomoon or a habitable exoplanet in Alpha Centauri?
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I’ll take a large habitable moon over a gas planet.

This planet isn’t confirmed. It seems unlikely given its 79 deg. inclination. It should have been detected easily using Doppler, IMO.
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Oct 22, 2019
Yes Helio is correct. The report involves studies showing possible exoplanets could be imaged at Alpha Centauri to 1 arcsecond angular separation from the star., "We also discuss a possible exoplanet or exozodiacal disk detection around α Centauri A. However, an instrumental artifact of unknown origin cannot be ruled out. These results demonstrate the feasibility of imaging rocky habitable-zone exoplanets with current and upcoming telescopes."

The 29 page arXiv report, From the paper "The nearest stellar system, α Centauri, is among the best-suited for imaging habitable-zone exoplanets (e.g., 10–12). The primary components α Centauri A and B are similar in mass and temperature to the Sun, and their habitable zones are at separations of about one au (see 13 and Fig. 1). At the system’s distance of 1.3 pc, these physical separations correspond to angular separations of about one arcsecond, which can be resolved with existing 8-m-class telescopes."

At 1.3 pc distance, 1" = 1.3 au. I calculated an 8 earth mass exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri at this distance with zero eccentricity, orbital period about 1.4 years. It would be interesting if imaged exoplanets do show up but I will wait and see here.


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