M. Kornmesser / ESO

Proxima B, an Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star, could support life, astronomers report in a new study.

Why it matters: Since the discovery of Proxima B was first announced last summer, researchers have speculated about whether life could exist on the "second Earth." It's distance from its star allows for water to exist on the surface but it also means the planet could be bombarded with X-rays and UV radiation. New climate models by researchers at the University of Exeter found Proxima B could be habitable under a range of conditions.

What they did: Using a climate model of Earth, the researchers simulated the climate on Proxima B by changing the planet's speed of rotation, varying its orbit and trying different atmospheric compositions.

What's needed: Actual data about Proxima B's atmosphere. In the simulations carried out by University of Exeter scientists, life's chances on the planet hinge on it having an atmosphere like Earth's. That key detail needs to be determined by observations from probes.

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Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 a.m. ET: 12,740,971 — Total deaths: 565,716 — Total recoveries — 7,022,846Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 a.m. ET: 3,247,782 — Total deaths: 134,815 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. Public health: Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  5. States: Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
48 mins ago - World

Hundreds of thousands vote in Hong Kong's opposition primaries

Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers say more than 500,000 Hong Kong residents have voted in primary elections held by pro-democracy opposition groups on Saturday and Sunday, despite fears of a government crackdown under Beijing's draconian new national security law, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The primaries, which aren't part of the city's official political process, are intended to whittle down the field of pro-democracy candidates in order to avoid splitting the vote against pro-China ruling politicians in September's legislative elections.

Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.