The possibility of life outside of Earth is pretty much endless. Even though we’ve been searching for a long time now, we’ve barely broken the plain with there being literally billions of galaxies out there. We barely understand 1% of our solar system let alone other galaxies. Over fifty years of exploration and we only are aware of and understand 1%, possibly less. With that however we have done a lot and discovered a lot in these years that we would not at all know about otherwise. The newest possible discovery could be the biggest one yet, of course concerning possible life outside of Earth.
Through the entire process of space exploration that was just mentioned, the biggest question we have always had is surrounding life outside of Earth. And we may have finally just broken that plain also, with the discovery of another new planet. The planet is referred to as Ross 128 b, and is a fairly inactive red dwarf star that orbits Proxima b and is located 11 light years away being the second closest planet of it’s kind to earth. The fact that the planet is mostly inactive is very important, with the reasoning being that it being inactive it would be much more comfortable for life. The reason Proxima b itself was pretty much ruled out was because of it’s periodic and steady eruptions that spread powerful and harmful radiation. But the fact that Ross 128 b is inactive eliminates that situation and makes the possibility of life much more plausible.
Obviously though we still can’t get too ahead of ourselves here and still have a lot we need to discover and learn about this newly found neighbor planet. We need to find out what the planet’s atmosphere is like, as well as knowing if it has water sources and is “life friendly” like Earth or sterile with no water similar to Venus. With that being said though, it is still considered a very plausible sign of life outside of Earth. Xavier Bonfils, a French astronomer from the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics in Grenoble or IPAG says that the planet is one of the “quietest in our sample and, although it is a little further away from us it makes for an excellent alternative target”. It being a little farther away may make it kind of a hassle, but it is also good because that means it gets less than or around the same amount of radiation that our planet does along with around the same temperature.
All in all this seems like the closest we’ve ever gotten to finally making this discovery and maybe it will end up being successful. As said before, there is still a lot of ground to make but so far we’re getting everything we want and need out of this little red dwarf star. Early on, the possibility of life being found is very plausible and hopefully we will be hearing more about it in the near future.
WORKS CITED – http://www.bbc.com