Moving soon? Maybe you should start looking for real-estate on the new planet NASA just found. Ok, so maybe that's getting ahead of ourselves. But scientists really do believe this planet, Proxima b, could be lived inhabited by earthlings before the end of this century!
Astronomers believe it's easily the closest, potentially hospitable planet they've come across that wasn't in our solar system. They believe the climate is in the "Goldilocks Zone" (not too hot, not too cold), which means that water is possible.
Guillem Anglada-Escude said, "We hit the jackpot here" and that the planet is "more or less what we have here on earth." Even though they didn't actually see the planet, it's existence has been more or less confirmed through calculating the gravitational pull on its anchor star, which is a proven method of planet hunting. According to Anglada-Escude, there is only a 1 in 10 MILLION chance they saw a false positive. So ya. There's a planet there.
"It is inspiring to find a potentially habitable world on our cosmic doorsteps, around our next star," said exoplanet expert Lisa Kaltenegger. "It is significant because if we needed inspiration to try to reach the next star, now we have it."
Now, of course, there's still a lot of questions to be answered here. In order for Proxima b to be habitable, it needs to have an atmosphere to allow for the production of water. That remains to be seen. Another issues is that it's always being bombarded with UV light and X-Rays, but scientists say we could just live underground. Harvard sstronomer Avi Loeb says this planet could be vital to humanity's future. He says once the sun dies (in 5 billion years), this would be an ideal type of planet to relocate to.
And if you wanted to see a picture of Proxima b, you've got some time to kill. It takes 20 years to get to the planet, and another 4 years for the photos to come back. For the time being, here's an artist's impression of what it looks like.
Would you ever consider moving to the new planet? Let us know!