Discovered in 2016, a planet roughly the size of the Earth-orbiting our nearest neighboring star may be habitable. The scientific team that made the discovery traced the subtle vibrations of the star, revealing the presence of a planet. ESO showed what its surface and landscape might look like.
Almost four years ago, scientists discovered a planet whose size was close to the size of the Earth. In addition, it revolves around the nearest neighboring star and can be habitable. This is the conclusion reached by astronomers using the 3.6-meter telescope of the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile, along with other telescopes around the world.
An exoplanet is at such a distance from its star that the temperature is low enough for liquid water to accumulate on its surface.
The new planet orbits Proxima Centauri, the smallest member of the triple star system known to science fiction fans around the world as Alpha Centauri. At a distance of just over 4 light-years, Proxima is the closest star to Earth apart from our Sun.
The ESO artist Kornmesser impression shows the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the solar system. The binary star Alpha Centauri AB is also present in the image. Proxima b is slightly more massive than Earth and orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, where the temperature is suitable for the existence of liquid water on its surface.