Scientists have discovered a new planet that is close to earth. Proxima B, a rocky planet that is believed to have life on it.
Proxima B is slightly bigger than earth and orbits the Proxima Centauri star which is the closest to the earth’s solar system. Proxima B is four light years away from Earth, which is close enough that space crafts from future generations can easily travel there. It could even become a new home for travellers from Earth.
As recorded in Nature, the planet was found by looking at data gotten from the Doppler measurements. The Doppler measurements were collected by the European Southern Observatory between 2010 and 2014, as well as in 2016.
Scientists are hopeful about studying the rocky planet in order to find life. To further raise their hopes about finding life on Proxima B, is the fact that it orbits in the habitable zone around its ‘sun’, the Proxima Centauri. However, this is still under debate by scientists. Extensive researches and studies would have to be carried out in order to determine the possibility or availability of life on Proxima B.
Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escude, from Queen Mary University of London, who led an international team of about 30 astronomers, said:
“Succeeding in the search for the nearest terrestrial planet beyond the solar system has been an experience of a lifetime, and has drawn on the dedication and passion of a number of international researchers.
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“We hope these findings inspire future generations to keep looking beyond the stars. The search for life on Proxima B comes next.”
Besides the possibility of finding life on Proxima B and its proximity to the earth, this new planet does have a shortcoming. The planet’s star gives off strong UltraViolet rays and X-Rays which means that any inhabitant of the planet would find it hard to do so without being hardened against the harmful rays.