HOUSTON — Get ready to space out because scientists over at the Pale Red Dot projectjust discovered a planet that could potentially replace earth.
It spins around the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri, which makes this the closest possible planet to contain alien life.
“The dream that we’re not alone is getting stronger and stronger. The more planets we find, the more chance there’s life," said Dr. Carolyn Sumners, the vice president for Astronomy and the Physical Sciences at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The planet, Proxima B, is 1.3 times bigger than ours and orbits inside the habitable zone, which means there’s a good chance there could be water and ice.
“So to us, that’s the next step. To really firm up how hospitable this place is. But it’s the fact that it’s allowed to be hospitable that makes it so exciting. We now know we have to look very hard at this planet in the coming years to answer those questionsm," NASA Chief Scientist of Exoplanet Exploration and Astronomy Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt said.
But don’t pack your bags just yet – even though Proxima B is three times closer than another possible planet upgrades – it’s still 4 light years away, which would take decades, even at hyper-speed.
The planet sits super close to its sun. It only takes 11 earth days to make one revolution — a.k.a one year.
Because of its location, the atmosphere might be too weak to keep out harmful radiation. And no, its not the type of radiation that gives you superpowers.
“We haven’t shown any life on it because we certainly don’t know if it’s there, but we don’t have any reason to say there absolutely couldn’t be. So this may be our next destination among the stars.” Dr. Sumners said.
Basically, they need to do more research to see if it’s actually live-able or if it’s just a big rock.
And while our hopes for space colonization may be sky-high, we’ll just have to stick to eating cosmic brownies for now.
What do you think? Would you move to Proxima B if you had the chance?