Groundbreaking Discovery of Proxima Centauri b --"Habitable-Zone Planet Orbiting Our Closest Star Evolved Very Differently Than Earth"
The world’s attention is now on Proxima Centauri b, a possibly Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star, 4.22 light-years away. The planet’s orbit is just right to allow liquid water on its surface, needed for life. But could it in fact be habitable? If life is possible there, the planet evolved very differently than Earth, say researchers at the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory, where astronomers, geophysicists, climatologists, evolutionary biologists and others team to study how distant planets might host life.