A team of international researchers has confirmed the discovery of an Earth-like planet. It is orbiting the Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our solar system. It is named Proxima b. Its mass is 1.17 times more than the Earth and it revolves around Centauri in 11.2 days. Scientist Alejandro Suarez Mascareño associated with this discovery says that the confirmation of the existence of Proxima b was a most important task and it is the most interesting planet around us.

When And How Proxima b Discovered?

Proxima b was first discovered in 2016 with the help of HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher). There is a spectrograph placed in the telescope of the European Southern Observatory of Chile. It helps in searching for planets. Scientists have been able to confirm this with the help of ESPRESSO, a new generation spectrograph. It is also in the Observatory of Chile. This is three times more accurate than HARPS.

"We were already very happy with the performance of HARPS, which has been responsible for discovering hundreds of exoplanets over the last 17 years," says Francesco Pepe, an astronomy professor at the UNIGE’s Faculty of Science, Switzerland, and leader of ESPRESSO.

You Might Also Like: Scientists Have Found Universe's 'Missing Matter' lost in Big Bang

"We're really pleased that ESPRESSO can produce even better measurements, and it's gratifying and just reward for the teamwork lasting nearly 10 years," added Pepe, a professor in the Astronomy who also co-authored the paper.

“ESPRESSO has made it possible to measure the mass of the planet with a precision of over one-tenth of the mass of Earth,” says Michel Mayor, Nobel Prize for Physics winner in 2019, honorary professor in the Faculty of Science and the ‘architect’ of all ESPRESSO-type instruments.

The Planet Is Like Earth, But Different

Proxima b is very close to its star, but still, it reaches as much energy as the Earth because of the sun. It is believed that the temperature here may be such that the water is present in the liquid state and supports life. Therefore scientists are quite excited about the possibility of alien life here. However, the problem here is that its star Centauri radiates large amounts of X-Rays at its surrounding planets.

Possibility Of Life

Proxima b reaches 400 times more X-rays than on Earth. Therefore, scientists now have to find out if its atmosphere would have been able to protect against these ridges.