today I am bringing news about the closest ever found exoplanet that is also potentially habitable. This planet is orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Sun.
This is great news. Like really, what is the probability of finding one of the best candidates for Earth like planet closest to us that it could get. But to be clear of what is really going on, it is not as that we are going to get a picture of it. Not at all, we do not even know its size (is probably above 1.3 of Earth’s) or anything about its composition. Its just that it is very very likely that the planet is there because of Doppler shifts and other fancy astronomical tools that enable scientists to discover exoplanets.
Proxima is red dwarf. This means that it is smaller and cooler than Sun. The difference is so huge that the planet may be in habitable zone even though it is probably only 7.3 million kilometers away compared to Earth’s 150 . So if there is water it may be liquid but nothing is very sure. If there are some greenhouse gases it is probably warm enough.
Before leaving, just check out this cool comparison of the angular diameter (size) of Sun and Proxima from Earth and from the new planet (Proxima b):
Proxima has surface temperature of 3050K, 0.1 percent of SOlar luminosity, radius 0.14 and 12% of Sun’s mass.