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PROXIMA B: Discovery of ‘Earth-like’ planet raises hopes for extraterrestrial life

21st Century Wire says…

This latest discovery by  could raise a renewed hope for discovering life outside our solar system.

New planet is at least 1.3 times size of Earth, located within a ‘habitable’ zone known as ‘Proxima Centauri’.

Will we discover life there, and more importantly – how long until we are able to travel to its solar system?

 

PLanet

The Guardian

The search for life outside our solar system has been brought to our cosmic doorstep with the discovery of an apparently rocky planet orbiting the nearest star to our sun.

Thought to be at least 1.3 times the mass of the Earth, the planet lies within the so-called “habitable zone” of the star Proxima Centauri, meaning that liquid water could potentially exist on the newly discovered world.

Named Proxima b, the new planet has sparked a flurry of excitement among astrophysicists, with the tantalising possibility that it might be similar in crucial respects to Earth.

1-Proxima-B
“There is a reasonable expectation that this planet might be able to host life, yes,” said Guillem Anglada-Escudé, co-author of the research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Eamonn Kerins, an astrophysicist at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, was among those enthusiastic about the discovery. “Finding out that the nearest star to the sun hosts not just a planet, not just an Earth-sized planet, but one which is in the right location that it could support life – and there are a lot of caveats there – really underscores that not only are planets very common in our galaxy, but potentially habitable planets are common,” he said…

Continue this story at The Guardian

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