If we take a look at how difficult it is for life to emerge even on Earth, we could guess that it would be very hard to find traces of any organism on any planet that you would magically extract from a cosmic bowl. Life on Earth began as soon as our planet cooled off, but any form of life is far too complex to ever be created in a lab.
As the Universe has constantly been providing us a surprise after another, it turns out that another planet that exists in our own cosmic backyard could be capable of sustaining life. While scientists were only suspecting the scenario, it has now been receiving some compelling confirmation.
Proxima b is its name
Although it’s an exoplanet, Proxima b is located extremely close to us in terms of astronomical scaling: ‘only’ 4.2 light-years away in the closest solar system to ours: Alpha Centauri. By analyzing its position from its host star named Proxima Centauri and other related info, the scientists concluded that Proxima b could have liquid water. And while no living organism from Earth could survive without water, this is a huge hint that our neighboring exoplanet could also harbor some kind of life forms.
Alejandro Suarez Mascareño, who is the study’s lead author, confirmed the obvious by saying:
Confirming the existence of Proxima b was an important task, and it’s one of the most interesting planets known in the solar neighborhood,
Proxima b was first discovered four years ago by using the HARPS spectrograph. ESPRESSO’s precision also had some significant contributions. The astronomers were now able to accurately measure the mass and orbit of Proxima b, concluding that the exoplanet has a 1.17 times bigger mass than the one Earth has, while its orbit is 11.2 days around its host star.
However, traveling to Proxima b by using our current technology is practically impossible. We should better place our bets for the secret to teleportation to be found one day by a scientist.
The research was published on the Arxiv repository.