Closest Earth-like Planet Found 4.5 Light Years Away
Scientists at the La Silla Observatory in the outskirts of a Chilean desert, have made an unfathomable discovery of an unknown earth-like planet! The planet revolves around our closest star Proxima Centauri, a star which is actually part of a trinary star system.
Artist’s impression of a sunset seen from the surface of the Earth-like exoplanet. Credit ESO/L. Calcada
Proxima Centauri revolves around the stars Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B at a great distance away, while the two revolve around eachother very closely, the distance between the sun and Uranus.
The fact that this star system is so close it could potentially be reached by humans in a single life-time, is what makes this find so amazing. In a recent mission called the Kepler mission, scientists combed deep space looking for Earth-like exoplanets capable of supporting life, ones within their Habitable Zone and having liquid water.
The mission was successful at finding several hundred planets believed to be similar to Earth, with 216 also found within their parent star’s Habitable Zone(aka. “Goldilocks Zone”). However, the Kepler mission focused on planets hundreds of light years away, and seemed to overlook our nearest star, Proxima Centauri.
If all is found to be true, this would be the closest habitable world to the Earth!
Is there life there? Not likely, although it’s the best place to consider spreading the seeds of humanity!
In April of this year, Stephen Hawking himself just unveiled “Project Starshot”, a mission to send a space probe to Alpha Centauri in just 20 years. Yuri Milner, a Russian Billionaire who has teamed up with Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking, plans to send a laser driven craft to our closest neighboring trinary star system. They predict that the craft could reach 20% of the speed of light with new laser-sail technology. Project Starshot now has a good chance to be re-routed to Proxima Centauri.
Professor Phillip Lubin, the brains behind Project Starshot said to Universe Today in an email;
Do you believe there is life living on other planets? Are you excited about this interstellar discovery of a possible earth-like exoplanet, within a 20 year reach of humanity? Let us know in the comments section below!
-Global Patriot, John Adams
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