An incredible new finding shows that there may be hope for us to live on other planets after all.
It’s a groundbreaking discovery that could have massive implications for the future of mankind, and might even sound like something from a movie like Interstellar. Astronomers have discovered a planet at the nearest star to our sun, Proxima Centauri, that could potentially allow us to build another Earth.
Of course, at 25 trillion miles away — 4 light years — we’ll need some big advances in technology just to get to this planet, let alone populate it. But it does provide us with some hope for the future should we somehow make Earth uninhabitable — or even if we just want a second place to call home.
Proxima Centauri b, the name of the planet, orbits within the “Goldilocks Zone,” an area that makes it not too hot and not too cold for humans.
Of course, that assumes it has an atmosphere like Earth’s. If it is very different, meaning there’s too much greenhouse effect or not enough, or if it could crush us, it doesn’t matter it’s in a habitable zone. But it is an intriguing possibility.
“Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri,” states a recent ESO statement. “The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. A paper describing this milestone finding will be published in the journal Nature on 25 August 2016.
“Just over four light-years from the Solar System lies a red dwarf star that has been named Proxima Centauri as it is the closest star to Earth apart from the Sun. This cool star in the constellation of Centaurus is too faint to be seen with the unaided eye and lies near to the much brighter pair of stars known as Alpha Centauri AB.”