Discovered in 2016, a roughly Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star might be habitable, according to astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6-meter telescope at La Silla, Chile, along with other telescopes around the world. The exoplanet is at a distance from its star that allows temperatures mild enough for liquid water to pool on its surface.

This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the solar system. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image. Proxima b is a little more massive than the Earth and orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface.

Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

天文学家们在使用位于智利拉西拉的欧洲南方天文台(European Southern Observatory)的3.6米望远镜以及世界各地的其他天文望远镜在2016年发现发现了一颗大约与地球大小相仿、围绕离我们最近的恒星运行的行星可能适合居住。系外行星与它的恒星之间有一定的距离,使得温度足够温和,液态可以在它的表面聚集。

这张图片展示了比邻星b的表面,它围绕着红矮星比邻星运行,比邻星是距离太阳系最近的恒星。双星人马座阿尔法AB也出现在图像中。比邻星b比地球大一些,其轨道位于半人马座比邻星周围的宜居带,那里的温度适合液态水在其表面存在。

影像来源:ESO/M. Kornmesser

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