Could there be a habitable planet in orbit around Proxima Centauri ? Image Credit: NASA
Scientists believe that a nearby extrasolar planet is 'likely' to be capable of supporting alien life.
Situated only 4.2 light-years away in orbit around the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, this small terrestrial world, which was first discovered back in August, could be a genuine Earth 2.0.
Now according to a new study by a team at the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory (CNRS), there is a particularly good chance that Proxima b could offer conditions that are favorable to life.
"This planet, called Proxima b, is in an orbit that would allow it to have liquid water on its surface, thus raising the question of its habitability," the team wrote.
"It is likely to harbor liquid water at its surface and therefore to harbor life forms."
The planet will undoubtedly represent a tantalizing target for future interstellar space missions.
"The fact there could still be life on the planet today, not only during its formation, is huge," said study leader Bastien Brugger.
"The interesting thing about Proxima b is it is the closest exoplanet to Earth. It is really exciting to have the possibility that there is life just at the gates of our solar system."
Source: Independent | Comments (15)
Proxima b, Extrasolar, Earth