Cosmic Rays near Proxima Centauri b

Abstract

The discovery of a terrestrial planet orbiting Proxima Centauri has led to a lot of papers discussing the possible conditions on this planet. Since the main factors determining space weather in the Solar System are the solar wind and cosmic rays (CRs), it seems important to understand what the parameters of the stellar wind, Galactic and stellar CRs near exoplanets are. Based on the available data, we present our estimates of the stellar wind velocity and density, the possible CR fluxes and fluences near Proxima b. We have found that there are virtually no Galactic CRs near the orbit of Proxima b up to particle energies ~1 TeV due to their modulation by the stellar wind. Nevertheless, more powerful and frequent flares on Proxima Centauri than those on the Sun can accelerate particles to maximum energies ~3150αβ GeV (α, β < 1). Therefore, the intensity of stellar CRs in the astrosphere may turn out to be comparable to the intensity of low-energy CRs in the heliosphere.

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Correspondence to A. M. Sadovski.

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Original Russian Text © A.M. Sadovski, A.B. Struminsky, A. Belov, 2018, published in Pis’ma v Astronomicheskii Zhurnal, 2018, Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 347–353.

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Sadovski, A.M., Struminsky, A.B. & Belov, A. Cosmic Rays near Proxima Centauri b. Astron. Lett. 44, 324–330 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1063773718040072

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Keywords

  • exoplanets
  • cosmic rays
  • astrosphere