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More space news and info at: - Proxima b falls within the habitable zone of its host star, Proxima Centauri. This newly discovered planet is by far the closest potential abode for life outside of our solar system.

Because the planet orbits so close to its parent star, it is almost certainly tidally-locked - always keeping the same side of the planet facing the star. If the planet has an atmosphere, it may enjoy Earth-like temperatures on the side facing its dim sun, while the dark-side of the planet lies frozen in a perpetual night.

If water exists on this world it could be in the form of an ocean on the day-side, near the equator, while the polar regions and night-side would be iced-over. This would give the planet an "eyeball" appearance when seen from space.

It is also possible that this planet rotates in a 3-2 resonance with its orbit, similar to our planet Mercury - which rotates 3 times for every 2 orbits around our Sun. For Proxima b, this would have the effect of moderating the climate somewhat, thus spreading out the "eyeball" pattern.

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Credit: European Southern Observatory
Edited by Coconut Science Lab

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