Nearby Exoplanet May Be Habitable

SCIENCE

The alien world is warmed by the light of a red dwarf star shining fewer than five light-years away. (Nat Geo News)

Use our study guide to learn more about alien worlds, habitable zones, and why liquid water is so important.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

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 sun. 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. Illustration by ESO/M. Kornmesser

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 sun. 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.
Illustration by ESO/M. Kornmesser

Discussion Ideas

 

  • Hundreds of exoplanets have been identified. What makes Proxima b so special?
    • Three major characteristics make the discovery of Proxima b notable.

 

This infographic compares the orbit of the Proxima b with the same region of our solar system. Illustration by ESO/M. Kornmesser/G. Coleman

This infographic compares the orbit of the Proxima b with the same region of our solar system.
Illustration by ESO/M. Kornmesser/G. Coleman

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: Potentially Habitable Planet Found Orbiting Star Closest to Sun

Nat Geo: NASA Discovers New Batch of Earthlike Planets

European Southern Observatory: Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star

Nat Geo: What is Earth?

Wikipedia: Proxima Centauri (featured article)

One response to “Nearby Exoplanet May Be Habitable

  1. Pingback: Nearby Exoplanet May Be Habitable | Marcha's Two-Cents Worth·

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