We can travel to planet Proxima Centauri b in roughly 45 years if we travel by photon rocket. Let’s have a look at these key information’s About the star.
- Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star with a mass about an eighth of the Sun’s mass
- The average density about 33 times that of the Sun.
- The planet is orbiting the star at a distance of roughly 0.05 AU (7.5 million km) with an orbital period of approximately 11.2 Earth days.
- The equilibrium temperature of Proxima b is estimated to be within the range of where water could exist as liquid on its surface, thus placing it within the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri.
- Because Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf and a flare star, whether it could support life is disputed.
- Because of the star’s proximity to Earth, Proxima Centauri has been proposed as a flyby destination for interstellar travel.
- If non-nuclear, conventional propulsion technologies are used, the flight of a spacecraft to a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri would probably require thousands of years.
- Nuclear pulse propulsion might enable such interstellar travel with a trip timescale of a century, inspiring several studies such as Project Orion, Project Daedalus, and Project Longshot.
- The project named “Breakthrough Starshot“ aims to reach the Alpha Centauri system within the first half of the 21st century, with microprobes travelling at 20% of the speed of light propelled by around 100 gigawatts of Earth-based lasers.
- The probes would perform a fly-by of Proxima Centauri to take photos and collect data of its planet’s atmospheric composition. It would take 4.22 years for the information collected to be sent back to Earth.
- From Proxima Centauri, the Sun would appear as a bright 0.4-magnitude star in the constellation Cassiopeia, similar to that of Achernar from Earth.
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