Astronomers, cosmologists, astrophysicists, scientists, and humans, everyone is fascinated by the idea of a second Earth in our galaxy that can support life. A German publication, Der Spiegel, has announced that researchers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have found a planet that resembles Earth and is also very close to our solar system.
This “second Earth” revolves around Proxima Centauri in the Alpha Centauri star system. The distance of this exoplanet from the star Proxima Centauri indicates a possibility of the presence of liquid water, “an important requirement for the emergence of life.” The article further said,
“Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.”
Richard Hook, the ESO spokesperson, refused to make any comment whether the article was true or not. It is not the first time that Alpha Centauri, our neighboring star system, was mentioned in the science news of the world. When 2016 began, Stephen Hawking announced that he and the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner would be looking for signs of alien life on the star. Also, the Kepler Telescope of NASA has found almost six Earth-like exoplanets. After the discovery in 2015, Doug Caldwell, a scientist, stated:
“The day is on the horizon when we’ll know how common temperate, rocky planets like Earth are.”
But this exoplanet, if it exists near Proxima Centauri, would be the closest one to Earth ever. While the Earth-like planet discovered by NASA, Kepler 452b is 1400 light years away; this new Earth-like planet would just be 4.24 light years away from us.
It begs the question whether the article in Der Spiegel is just a practical joke or a breakthrough in science? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. What do you think about all of this? Comment below.