Life beyond earth? Scientists discover new super earth


During the 2019 Breakthrough Discuss conference, scientists have revealed that they have discovered evidence of new super earth that is orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to earth. Mario Damasso of Italy's Observatory of Turin announced this news and revealed that the new planet has been named Proxima C.

Even though the planet's existence remains unconfirmed as of now, experts revealed that it is a potential candidate that could justify the name 'Super Earth'.

It was just around three years back that scientists initially revealed the existence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, named Proxima Centauri b.

"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. It is only a candidate. This is very important to underline," said Mario Damasso.

Scientists speculate that if such a planet like Proxima C exists, it would be at least six times larger than the earth. As per experts, this potential planet candidate might take around 1,900 days to complete a loop around the star. This huge duration also indicates that the planet's surface temperature will be very low, and water will find it hard to flow through Proxima C.

As the temperature is too low in Proxima C, scientists believe that the possibility of life harbouring on the planet is pretty narrow. However, experts speculate that Proxima Centauri b is much warmer than the newly discovered planet and sometimes, life may be in its simple form might have evolved there.

Scientists also revealed that more powerful telescopes which will be developed in the future could help to know more about this potential planet candidate.

"We asked ourselves many times if this is a real planet. But what is sure is that even if this planet is a castle in the air, we should keep working to put even stronger foundations under it," Fabio Del Sordo of the University of Crete told National Geographic.