A new planet, Proxima B, that orbits the star closest to the Earth’s sun has been discovered. Based on its location, it’s possible that liquid water could exist on Proxima B’s surface, making human life on the planet a possibility, according to researchers. Whoa!
“There is reasonable expectation that this planet might be able to host life, yes,” expert Guillem Anglada-Escude confirmed. Proxima B is expected to be 1.3 times the size of Earth, and it orbits in the “habitable zone” of a star called Proxima Centauri, which means the temperature provides potential for liquid water to exist there.
This planet is in a location that could support life, astrophysicist Eamonn Kerins confirms, which “underscores that only are planets very common in our galaxy, but potentially habitable planets are common.”
Unfortunately, it won’t be so easy to see if any species exist on this newly-discovered planet — even though it’s the closest to Earth out of thousands of others orbiting stars outside our solar system, it’s still a whopping 4.2 lightyears away! To put that in perspective, that means it would take 70,000 years for a probe to get there!
Researchers have been looking into this planet for quite some time, but enough data has finally be collected to confirm the discovery. It’s still highly up for debate whether or not humans could live here, though, because Proxima Centauri is a “red dwarf” star, which contains flares that make it “difficult” for planets to keep an atmosphere, astrophysics professor, Don Pollacco explains. He adds that there is no evidence of an atmosphere or water on the planet, and without that information, we really know very little about the habitability of Proxima B.
Obviously, a lot more research has to be done on this, but we’ll be patiently waiting to see what happens next!
HollywoodLifers, do you think humans will be able to inhabit this planet? How long do you think it will take?