The closest star to our own, approximately 4.2 light-years away or 25 trillion miles, is the red-dwarf, Proxima Centauri. This low-mass star is about 12% the mass of our Sun, however, a planet has been observed rotating around this red-dwarf star called Proxima c. This exoplanet is approximately 1.3 times the size of earth and appears to have a rocky terrain. Because of its rotation, Proxima c would have approximately 22 Earth days between sunrises and the surface temperature would be approximately -40C. Evidence of both atmospheric and liquid water on the surface has been observed. Because of the closeness of this planet to the Proxima Centauri, the planet is flooded with 400x more radiation than Earth and a solar wind pressure 2000x that experienced on Earth.[i] Due to these factors, the inhabitants of this planet would most likely live underground and would only venture above ground for resources. They would be bipedal humanoids, resembling humans in their anatomy and physiology. However, considering the differences between Proxima c and Earth, there will be adaptations that would ensure their survival on Proxima c.
Using this information, you should describe and justify one adaptation to the nervous system that this organism would require to inhabit Proxima c. This analysis should include the following:
· Description of the physiology of the human nervous system (using your textbook as a primary information source).
· An explanation of how the environment of Proxima c may affect the functioning of the human nervous system.
· Propose an adaptation to the human nervous system the Proxima c humanoid would have to compensate for the environment.
- The adaptation can be based on changes in a human organ to make it work more efficiently on Proxima c or can be an organ that is not found in the human nervous system.
- The proposal should include justification as to why that particular adaption would benefit the humanoid more than any other adaptation to the nervous system.
- Justifications should be based on known scientific principles and research. This would require documentation. (In-text citations and a reference page).
- Describe how this change or new organ would enable the humanoid to function better on this planet than on Earth.
- Use reliable sources and identify the relevant information used for your analysis and justification. (In-text citations and a reference page.)
1. Length should be a minimum of two pages, maximum of four. (This refers to the body of the paper and does not include the reference and title page.
2. Analysis should be typed, using 1” margins and double-spacing.
3. Font size should be 12 and should be one Times New Roman.
You must use a minimum of three reputable sources in addition to your textbook. Reputable sources include peer reviewed scientific journal articles, accredited websites, or books. Google, Wikipedia, etc. are not acceptable sources. Remember to cite all sources and cite your textbook. Citations should be in the APA format, including parenthetical (in-text) citations. Visit the Purdue Owl Writing Lab (opens new window) for instructions on proper formatting.
[i] Information is based on the discovery and analysis of Proxima Centauri b. Anglada-Escudé G, Amado PJ, Barnes J, Berdiñas ZM, Butler RP, Coleman GA, de la Cueva I, Dreizler S, Endl M, Giesers B, Jeffers SV, Jenkins JS, Jones HR, Kiraga M, Kürster M, López-González MJ, Marvin CJ, Morales N, Morin J, Nelson RP, Ortiz JL, Ofir A, Paardekooper S, Reiners A, Rodríguez E, Rodriguez-López C, Sarmiento LF, Strachan JP, Tsapras Y, Tuomi M, Zechmeister M (25 August 2016). “A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri” (PDF). Nature. 536 (7617): 437–440. .