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Scouting Alpha Centauri at X-ray Wavelengths

7 Jun 2018, 12:58 UTC
Scouting Alpha Centauri at X-ray Wavelengths ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

One of the benefits of having Alpha Centauri as our closest stellar neighbor is that this system comprises three different kinds of star. We have the familiar Centauri A, a G-class star much like our Sun, along with the smaller Centauri B, a K-class star with about 90 percent of the Sun’s mass. Proxima Centauri gives us an M-dwarf, along with the (so far) only known planet in the system, Proxima b. Questions of habitability here are numerous. Along with possible tidal locking, another major issue is radiation, since M-dwarfs are known for their flare activity.

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