Newswise — Sally Dodson-Robinson, a Physics and Astronomy professor at the University of Delaware, can serve as a source for stories about the newly discovered Proxima Centauri b. She can discuss the key differences between sunlike stars and Proxima Centauri, the M dwarf that the newly discovered planet is orbiting. The differences are among the many factors that are crucial to whether there could be life on the planet.

Dodson-Robinson can also discuss the following:

- Technological challenges of discovering young planets, and the potential for stellar activity (starspots and "plages," which are bright areas of the star) to masquerade as planets.

- How light color emitted by a star can affect life - chlorophyll absorbs both red and blue light and reflects green. If plants develop on Proxima b, they will be very different than they are on Earth.

- The amount of flaring and the resultant bombardments of X-rays, UV light, and possibly charged particles.

Contact Peter Bothum at 302-766-5103 or [email protected] to set up an interview.