New exoplanet discovered that could sustain human life

exoplanet

In what is among the most fascinating extraterrestrial discoveries in the past few years, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile have discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighboring star. This new planet is roughly 4 light-years away (essentially right next door to Earth in space terms). But the most astounding discovery is the fact that star lies within the star’s “habitable zone”, meaning that its distance from the star is such, that it could potentially support liquid water.

But before we all start going Interstellar on this new discovery, it’s important to note that there are a variety of unknowns that have not yet been resolved. For one, there is no evidence as to whether the planet has an atmosphere. In addition, the planet is exposed to a high level of radiation that could prevent human life.

Still, the discovery is landmark one in the field of astrophysics and gives hopes to the notion that there really are countless planets that are capable of supporting human life. Now the next step is for a scientist to develop a warp drive. Where’s Zefram Cochrane when we need him?

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Brian Chu
Brian Chu 221 posts

Brian Chu is a Staff Writer for Nerd Reactor and aspiring Jeopardy contestant. He thinks Picard is the best captain, Cumberbatch is the best Holmes, Bale is the best Batman, and Tennant is the best Doctor. Follow him @chumeister