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Proxima Centauri-B and the Opportunity for Life to Thrive in the Planet

Presentation #403.06 in the session Linking the Solar System and the Search for Life.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Proxima Centauri-B and the Opportunity for Life to Thrive in the Planet

For many decades, scientists from all over the world have performed extensive research regarding the worlds outside the boundaries of our home planet. Wonder and the desire for knowledge has led scientists and engineers to come up with new advances through history that precisely led to the relatively wide understanding of celestial objects in the present day. Space exploration can be a controversial topic. Investigations carried through history by astronomers and physicists are revolving around the question of whether we are the only sign of resilient life in the universe or if any other potential planets could serve humanity as a second home. Many people question scientists as to why they are so concerned about finding a second home in outer space when they could focus their knowledge and resources on getting to know and protect our home planet. A balance in knowledge must be established. The research on interstellar space and exoplanets like Proxima Centauri B may open many doors in space exploration as it may unburden clues in the nature and evolution of planets all around the universe. It is four light years away from Earth making it the closest exoplanet to our solar system. Proxima B exists in the habitable zone of its host star; hence, it may be a model of the preservation of an ancient Earth, just like the planet Mars. Such knowledge may help us understand how life evolved on Earth, and all the processes that took place for us, resilient life, to exist. An investigation was conducted using previous studies from scientific sources. Data was gathered to test if the idea of Proxima B as a habitable exoplanet, is ascertainable. Further research must be performed to declare a conclusion with perfect accuracy. Facts were compared to provide a starting point for further analysis with more profound knowledge. Proxima B may provide scientific data about the factors enabling and prohibiting life-supporting conditions to thrive in a planetary body. Finding a habitable exoplanet close to our solar system can push humanity to develop the technology to travel to interstellar space. Proxima B may clue us into finding whether life is abundant, whether it is scarce, or if we are truly alone in the universe.

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