Proxima b is the closest exoplanet to Earth that could sustain life, scientist believe we?ll know if life exists there within our lifetime.
Proxima b is located in the Proxima Centauri star system. The closest star system to Earth.?Proxima b has several similarities with Earth. The similarities have even prompted many to suspect that this planet can indeed be viable to support life.
Proxima b exists in a position called the Goldilocks Zone. Proxima b basically exists in an area which has a temperature that is enough to keep water as a liquid. And if water exists? we all know where this is going.
Proxima b is Far, But Not too Far
Many exoplanets like Proxima B have been discovered in recent years that hold the promise of life beyond Earth. But what makes Proxima B so special is that it is the closest one to our solar system. Proxima b is only four light years from us.
In terms of astronomical distances, Proxima B is relatively close compared to other heavenly objects. But it is still quite far. Proxima B is 25 trillions miles away, it would take us 30,000 years to reach it with today?s technology.
However all is not lose. Technology is still changing with many breakthroughs every year. Scientists are confident that a spacecraft will be developed within our lifetime to visit this promising planet.
Stephen Hawking is already working on a small spacecraft to travel to the Alpha Centauri star system with Proxima Centauri residing in just 20 years. The craft is designed to use a 100-gigawatt beam of light that would propel it to a staggering speeds of 100 million miles an hour.
And if the planet?s conditions may prove to support not just life, but human life as well, it?s not a long shot to colonise it.
Dr Mikko Tuomi a part of the discovery team, said: “It is the closest possible exoplanet to us and may be the closest to support life outside the solar system?It is intriguing to think that the simple ingredients – water, carbon dioxide, and rock – that are needed for the formation of biochemical cycles that we call life, could all be present and interacting on the planet?s surface?It is a great place to start looking for life outside the Solar System and it is a very exciting discovery.?
With the planet being so close and holding so much promise to hold life, it?s only a matter of time before we can confirm the theories with our own eyes.