Scientists have discovered Proxima b, an Earth-like planet which might harbor alien life, and is close enough to visit.
The newly discovered planet named Proxima b, orbits Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system, and is just four light years far. Even though little is known about the planet, its proximity to its star makes it able to support life, astronomers have claimed.
This new “second Earth” is one of the most easily studied, and being only four light years away from us, future generations of spaceships could possibly visit and explore the rocky planet.
Even though Proxima b has only been studied from afar, the team of international researchers who discovered it believe that it could possibly be a home for alien life, as well as a human colonies.
Scientists have previously found exoplanets, all of which in theory can support human life, like Kepler-442b and Kapteyn b. However, the closest exoplanet known lies over three times further away from earth than Proxima b.
Exoplanets are believed to be able to host life forms, and even humans, due to their location in regards to their star. What makes astronomers believe that they can support life, is their sufficient atmospheric pressure which could help maintain liquid water on their surfaces.
Proxima b is slightly larger than our planet, and sits a whole lot closer to its sun. A full orbit, meaning a year, would take the planet just 11.2 days to complete. But since its star, Proxima Centauri is a lot dimmer than our sun, it still lies within the circumstellar habitable zone.
Don’t get too excited though. Proxima Centauri blasts Proxima b with very powerful ultraviolet rays and X-rays, making it hard for humans to explore without protective suits. And if the planet has alien life forms living on it already, they have surely developed a deference mechanism against radiation.
Would you take the chance to explore a newly discovered planet?