Space is infinitely enveloped with vacuum that consists of uncountable stars, asteroids, galaxies, planets, radiations (even those which are invisible to the human eye), black holes, comets, and quasars. Scientists highly believe that space may consist of many more elements or things that are yet to be discovered by long and untiring researches. It was the result of one of the untiring research and efforts of the scientists around the globe that an Earth-like, habitable planet called Proxima b was discovered on August 24, 2016. Proxima Centauri b, also known as Proxima b or Alpha Centauri Cb, is an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to the Sun and part of a triple star system.
Located at approximately 4.2 light years away from Earth, in the constellation of Centaurus, Proxima b is the closest known exoplanet to the Solar System. Cordula Robinson, an associate professor in the Geographic Information Technology program at the Northeastern University, who has worked at the German Aerospace Center and studied the crustal dichotomy of Mars, considers this discovery as the most important to be noted among 4,000 exoplanets that have been discovered so far. According to Robinson, this exoplanet has nearly all the features that make it an Earth-like planet. It has a rocky terrain and possibly a habitable atmosphere.
Robinson explained, “Most exciting of all is that it may be warm enough for liquid water to be stable. Liquid water means the planet may be habitable and that life outside of our solar system is a possibility. It says we really might not be alone.”
While it may take a lot more technological advances to get there, and the dream of living there might not be fulfilled, but this discovery will favour the curiosity of scientists and aid them to unleash such potential again and reinvigorate and inspire new “breakthroughs” with respect to extraterrestrial life.