The Alpha Centauri stars system is the closest one to Earth and, therefore, many studies have been conducted on this system. Now, a recent study came up with a new astonishing conclusion that Alpha Centauri stars can sustain life on the planets the orbit them as their characteristics are not very different to those of our Sun.
“The Alpha Centauri system will be the first stop for interstellar travelers from Earth. The age of the system is similar to the Sun, which is good for the development of life,” explained Tom Ayres from the University of Colorado at Boulder, cited by CNET.
Alpha Centauri stars can sustain life, Ayres revealed
Gathering all the important data regarding Alpha Centauri system recorded by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory over the last 13 years, Tom Ayres was able to reveal that Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, the two main stars of the system, present similar characteristics with our Sun and the conditions surrounding them, including radiations level and temperature, are suitable for life.
More specifically, both Alpha Centauri A and B stars don’t present high-intensity bursts of X-Ray radiations that could fry up a planet which lack a magnetic shield like the Earth’s.
To date, only a single planet has been discovered within Alpha Centauri stars system
However, despite the fact that Alpha Centauri A and B are life-friendly, no planets have yet been discovered orbiting them. The only planet found in the Alpha Centauri system is orbiting the so-called Proxima Centauri (or Alpha Cen C) highly-active dwarf star.
This planet, dubbed Proxima B and which is similar to Earth in size, is frequently struck by deadly radiations emitted by Proxima Centauri, making the development of life on that planet practically impossible.
Unfortunately, all these data comes only from far-distant readings but scientists are optimistic regarding the so-called Breakthrough Starshot project which implies the use of lasers beams from Earth to send a “nanocraft” towards the Alpha Centauri stars in the following decades.