Researchers have discovered two new planets that might be orbiting the nearest star to our sun, a small red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, located approximately 4.24 light-years away from Earth. “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,” said Mario Damasso of Italy’s Observatory of Turin on April 12 during the 2019 Breakthrough Discuss conference. It’s at least six times more massive than Earth, and the planet takes 1,936 days to orbit once around its star, thus making its average surface temperature much too cold for liquid water to flow. Read more for a video and additional information.
“In 2016, scientists with the Pale Red Dot project revealed the first known world orbiting Proxima Centauri—a planet at least 1.3 times as massive as Earth that’s perhaps warm enough for life as we know it to thrive on its surface. Scientists identified that planet, called Proxima Centauri b, by studying how its gravity tugs on Proxima Centauri and causes the star to wobble,” reports National Geographic.