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 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.