Exoplanet Orbiting The Nearest Star To Our Solar System Discovered

An exoplanet (an Earth-like body that orbits a star that isn’t our Sun) has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri—the nearest star to our solar system. Found using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) which is located in Chile, the exoplanet—called Proxima d—could be significant, as it orbits Proxima Centauri’s habitable zone, where “it’s not too warm nor too cold for liquid water to exist at the surface of a planet.” When searching for life on other planets, water is crucial. Additionally, Proxima d’s proximity to Earth means it could feasibly be the destination of a future mission. Lead researcher João Faria says, “The discovery shows that our closest stellar neighbor seems to be packed with interesting new worlds, within reach of further study and future exploration.” Read more at Inverse.

Image courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada