A new approach to the search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

Astronomers from Yale University, USA, took a new look at the nearby star system of Alpha Centauri and discovered new ways to search for potentially inhabited planets in it.

According to a new study headed by Professor Deborah Fischer (Debra Fischer), when observing the Alpha Centauri system, astronomers could not notice planets like Earth. At the same time, this study makes it possible to exclude the presence in this system of larger planets, the existence of which was predicted by previous models.

The Alpha Centauri system is 1.3 parsec (4 light-years away) from the Earth, which makes it the closest star system to us. This system includes three stars: Centaurus A, Centaurus B and Centaurus Proxima. The discovery last year of a land-like planet in orbit around Proxima Centauri sparked a new surge of interest in this system.

In his work, the Fisher team uses data collected with new spectrographic tools, CHIRON, HARPS and UVES, installed on a very large telescope located in Chile. By carefully observing the Alpha Centauri system with the help of these tools, the researchers were able to come to the conclusion that in the Centaurus A system only planets with masses of less than 50 Earth masses could be seen so far; in the Centauri B system – planets with masses less than 8 Earth masses; in the system of Proxima Centauri – a planet with masses less than half the mass of the Earth. The larger planets in the Alpha Centauri system are most likely not, according to Fisher and her colleagues.

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Barry Warmkessel

Here is a new way to detect planets from a given star system. Ask an E. T alien from that star system what their planets are like. For example,There are at least three sentient species in the Alpha Centauri Star system, the Cenos (Proxima b) Hand’s (Alpha Centauri B) and Greys (on satellites of a large planet in the Alpha Centauri A Star system). Here is an Example how to do it:
Using this technique, a tidally locked planet in the Proxima star system was discovered in Aug. 2012. Astronomers verified this finding in August, 2012.
This technique suggests that there is a big planet in the Alpha Centauri system, something our astronomers are not anticipating.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x