Sunday, January 21, 2018
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Proxima b: Potential Earth-like planet discovered

Located just four light years away from the Earth, Proxima b could be within the so-called habitable zone.

Scientists have discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting the star nearest to the Sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe.

The planet, known as Proxima b, is located just four light years away from the Earth, around the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, a team of European scientists led by British researchers wrote in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

The scientists, who collected data over 16 years, discovered the planet with data from the European Southern Observatory telescope in Chile by monitoring shifts in the light from the star to determine presence of the planet.


READ MORE: Earth 2.0 - NASA finds planet that matches our own


Proxima b has a mass around 1.3 times that of Earth, but orbits much closer to its star, circling it every 11 days.

Given that the star itself is weaker than the Sun, Proxima b could be within the so-called habitable zone, where it is neither too hot nor too cold to support life and where temperatures could allow the presence of liquid water, the researchers said.

Lead author Guillem Anglada-Escude, an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London, described the finding as the "experience of a lifetime.

"It is not unlikely that this planet is quite similar to Earth. The spectacular finding about this, of course, is that this system is so close to our Earth and solar system," said Angsgar Reiners, a German scientist who is among the research's co-authors.

However, it is not clear if the planet has an atmosphere or if it contains water, but "the existence is plausible", he added.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Decapitated, bloodstained doll left at Amsterdam mosque

Read More

Hungary blasted over 'Stop Soros' bill targeting NGOs

Read More

Belgium pledges $23m to UNRWA after US aid cut

Read More

Ukraine declares Russian 'occupation' in eastern region

Read More

Three killed as severe storm lashes Netherlands

Read More

Italy: Some 1,400 refugees rescued at sea

Read More

Global_News

Group of attackers armed with automatic weapons storm luxury hotel in Afghanistan's capital, security sources say.

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

From snowfall to sunshine

Palestinians hold 'day of rage'