An image shows an artist’s impression of a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri.
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Scientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published Wednesday showed."This planetary system is much closer than any other that we know so detailed investigation is easier," astronomer Ansgar Reiners, with the University of Gottingen in Germany, told reporters on a conference call.Astronomers got their first hint of a planet circling the sun's small dim neighbor star in 2013 . That puts the planet far closer to its parent star than Earth orbits the sun. However, Proxima Centauri is so much smaller and dimmer than the sun that its planet's orbit is suitably positioned for liquid water despite being just 4.4 million miles away.
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