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Space & Astronomy

Is Proxima Centauri home to a second Earth ?

By T.K. Randall
August 16, 2016 · Comment icon 53 comments

Is there a second Earth just 4.25 light-years away ? Image Credit: NASA
Scientists have allegedly discovered a potentially habitable planet within a neighboring star system.
Astronomers have detected thousands of new planets over the last few years, but while many of them have the potential to be habitable, most are too far away for us to ever actually visit.

This however may soon be set to change thanks to the apparent discovery of an Earth-like world in orbit around Proxima Centauri - a red dwarf star situated just 4.25 light-years away.

The find has yet to be formally confirmed as scientists are still investigating it, however there is a rumor that something official will be announced before the end of this month.
According to German weekly Der Spiegel, the planet, which exists in its star's habitable zone, was identified using a reflecting telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

"The discovery of [a] possible planet around Proxima Centauri is very exciting," Professor Phillip Lubin at the University of California told Universe Today in an email.

"It makes the case of visiting nearby stellar systems even more compelling, though we know there are many exoplanets around other nearby stars and it is very likely that the Alpha Centauri system will also have planets."

Right now all we can do is wait and see if something about the discovery is actually announced, but if an Earth-like world really has been found so close by then it would surely be one of the most important astronomical discoveries of recent times.

Source: | Comments (53)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by Myles 8 years ago
Pretty exciting.    I don't like how they call it Earth 2.0.    That insinuating that it is better than Earth.   It may not be.  
Comment icon #45 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I presumed no such thing, I was simply commenting on your post which showed no evidence of ;logic,l knowledge or joi9ned upm thinking. You claim you knew that the nearest habitable planet would have dim light. You backed up this claim with total drivel. Evidence for the existence of greys = none. Evidence that if greys do exist they come they must come from the closest inhabited planet = none. Amount of logic in your post = none. I make NO presumptions about the existence of life based on my personal beliefs, I am open minded so I wait for REAL evidence. You, on the other hand, repeatedly make... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by Clair 8 years ago
Interesting article from Live Science about the possibility of life on Proxima b. What if Scientists Found Life on Proxima b?
Comment icon #47 Posted by Mind Explorer 8 years ago
This planet orbits a dwarf star which means that star was once the size of our Sun or larger. Life probably went extinct before the earth even formed. If there was ever life there in the first place. If they were intelligent life forms they probably found another nearby planet. Oh wait!
Comment icon #48 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Not true. Red dwarfs are main sequence stars. They, unlike white dwarfs, have always been small and cool. White dwarfs are what occurs after a larger star has exhausted it's fuel.
Comment icon #49 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 8 years ago
We have no way of going to another solar system, so why are you getting upset about something that isn't even happening ?
Comment icon #50 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
Proxima Centauri is a flare star, which means it is rather unstable, life might be able to form under such conditions, but I am not sure how that unstable environment might lend itself to advanced life. It would just be a guess, but the conditions seem less favourable to "life as we know it" from what I understand. 
Comment icon #51 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
Our deep sea oceans do not confirm that theory though.   It does happen sometimes:     But as we can see, certainly not all the time:  
Comment icon #52 Posted by SNR 8 years ago
Real evidence may turn up one day.. probably after you & I are long gone. This doesn't mean there's no real evidence out there, it just means it's not discovered yet. It's narrow minded to think otherwise. I really don't think you deserve to know anyway.
Comment icon #53 Posted by badeskov 8 years ago
It may indeed, but that is completely irrelevant. The cold, hard fact is that at present there is no evidence whatsoever - none! Cheers, Badeskov

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