There are only eight planets in our own solar system, or nine if we take into account what Jim Bridenstine says, the Administrator of NASA. He firmly claims that Pluto should be considered a planet again. Whatever the truth may be, our solar system is unique and rich in cosmic wonders.
But there are far more planets beyond our star system, maybe even more than any of us could ever imagine. They are also called exoplanets, and astronomers have already confirmed the existence of over 4000 pieces.
Newfound exoplanet in Proxima Centauri?
Proxima Centauri is a neighboring star system to our own, being located at 4,244 light-years away. For the first time ever, astronomers believe they found the first exoplanet from a neighboring star system.
Another team of researchers previously brought the hypothesis that there could be an exoplanet in Proxima Centauri. But now, an international team captured a blurred image of what they believe could be the proof that the other scientists were right.
What would we find on the hypothetical exoplanet?
While a lot of enthusiasts are hoping for alien life forms, theoretical chances for such beings to exist anywhere near our solar system are extremely low. Life, as we know it, can develop very slow in the Universe and the host planet, has to match plenty of environmental conditions. But we don’t now yet anything about the new exoplanet, and we don’t have a name for it yet considering that nobody’s sure that it even exists.
While a distance of thousands of light-years means nothing at an astronomical scale, we should cancel ASAP any vacation on the Proxima Centauri star system. Humanity would never be able to go there using the current technology.
The research of the possible exoplanet from Proxima Centauri was published to the preprint server ArXiv. Many further studies are needed to get rid of all doubts, and we’re eagerly waiting for them.