NASA shares incredible image of nearby planet that 'could host alien life'

Whether or not there’s life beyond our planet remains one of the biggest unanswered questions in science, despite years of research.


Now, NASA has shared an incredible image of what a nearby planet that’s believed to be habitable could look like.


The planet, called Proxima b, orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to the solar system.


NASA explained: “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.”


Proxima b was discovered back in 2016, and is believed to be slightly bigger than Earth.


It orbits in the habitable zone around its star, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface.


While it’s a prime target in the search for aliens, NASA has warned that the planet could be subject to potentially life-extinguishing stellar flares.


Scott Gaudi, an astronomy professor Ohio State University, said: “That's the worry in terms of habitability.

“This thing is being bombarded by a fair amount of high-energy radiation. It's not obvious if it's going to have a magnetic field strong enough to prevent its whole atmosphere from getting blown away.

“But those are really hard calculations, and I certainly wouldn't put my money either way on that."

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