A new super-Earth may orbit the star next door
Subtle shifts in the motion of the nearby star Proxima Centauri suggest that it may host not one but two alien worlds.
BERKELEY, CaliforniaNot just one, but two planets might be orbiting the nearest star to our sun, a small red dwarf called Proxima Centauri that’s about 4.24 light-years away.
“We are pleased to show you, for the first time, what is for us a new candidate planet around Proxima that we call Proxima c,” Mario Damasso of Italy’s Observatory of Turin initially announced during the 2019 Breakthrough Discuss conference. A paper describing the potential planet appears today in the journal Science Advances.
“It is only a candidate,” Damasso continued. “This is very important to underline.”
If the planet is there, it’s at least six times as massive as Earth—making it what’s called a super-Earth—and it takes 1,936 days to