Artist’s impression of the dust belts around Proxima Centauri

This artist’s impression shows how the newly discovered belts of dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri, may look. ALMA observations revealed the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system. These structures are similar to the much larger belts in the Solar System and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets.

Note that this sketch is not to scale — to make Proxima b clearly visible it has been shown further from the star and larger than it is in reality.

Credit:

ESO/M. Kornmesser

About the Image

Id:eso1735a
Type:Artwork
Release date:3 November 2017, 12:00
Related releases:eso1735
Size:8000 x 5000 px

About the Object

Name:Proxima Centauri
Type:Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Planetary System
Category:Exoplanets

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