Is Our Nearest Neighboring Exoplanet a Lifeless Rock?

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BQO ROUNDUP

Flickr Bill Lile (CC)

A crucial clue in the search for extraterrestrial life is just around the corner, in cosmic terms.

Discovered in 2016, the planet called Proxima b circles our Sun’s nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri. Revealed by the telltale wobbles its gravitational tug elicits upon its star, this world is slightly more massive than Earth, and, like the Earth, resides in Proxima Centauri’s “habitable zone,” a circumstellar region in which warmth from starlight could conceivably allow liquid water to exist upon a rocky planet’s surface. Beyond that, not much more is known about this planet, and its similarities to our own Earthly situation may end there.

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