Proxima Centauri, the sun’s nearest neighbor, may host a 2nd alien planet. Meet Proxima c.

The newly detected icy world remains a candidate planet for now.

An artist’s illustration of the Proxima Centauri planetary system. Portrayed on the right is the newly discovered exoplanet candidate Proxima c, which orbits the red-dwarf host star once every 5.2 Earth years. The system also includes the smaller Proxima b, on the left, a confirmed world that was discovered in 2016. (Image credit: Lorenzo Santinelli)

Proxima b may not be an only child after all.

In August 2016, astronomers announced that a roughly Earth-size exoplanet circles the closest star to the sun, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, which lies a mere 4.2 light-years from us. (For perspective, the Milky Way galaxy’s spiral disk is about 100,000 light-years wide.)

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