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Water on Proxima Centauri b

Water on Proxima Centauri b

F016/9480

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Proxima is the nearest star to the Sun. It is a dim red dwarf, smaller than our Sun and many thousands of times brighter. Here we see it seen with an orbiting rocky planet, recently discovered, called Proxima b. Above and to the right you can also make out Alpha Centauri, which is a binary star with two Sun-like components. The Alpha Centauri pair orbit each other quite closely, while Proxima orbits this pair much further out, forming a triple star system. Astronomers suspect that Proxima b may be covered in liquid water, as depicted here.

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