According to Inhabitat, humans are fascinated by the idea of an Earth-like planet or planets that could potentially harbour life. Now, astronomers have officially announced that they’ve discovered the closest earth-like planet to date. The alien world named Proxima b is roughly the same size as planet earth, it’s potentially habitable, and it orbits the nearest star to our sun which is over 4 light years away.
The earth-like planet orbits Proxima Centauri in the Alpha Centauri system. Its distance from Proxima Centauri may also mean that it may possess liquid water, which is an important requirement for the emergence of life.
It’s not the first time Alpha Centauri has incited speculation. Earlier this year, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said that he was working with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner to send tiny satellites to the star system to listen for any extraterrestrial life. It’s also not the first time that a potentially Earth-like planet has been found – NASA’s Kepler Telescope may have already found 6 other Earth-like planets.
The exoplanet near Proxima Centauri is much closer as compared to other exoplanets. Proxima b is 4.24 light years away.
Featured Image Credit: European Southern Observatory