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Exoplanet ONE TIME USE.jpg
This artist rendering provided by the European Southern Observatory shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. (European Southern Observatory via AP)

Scientists might have found an Earth-like planet at the star next-door to our Sun


The exoplanet next door

If you ever wanted to live on another planet, this might be your best bet.

A study published in Nature  on Wednesday reveals the closest planet that might similar to Earth orbits the star nearest our own Sun.

The upside and downside

Proxima Centauri and its planet, Proxima b, is "only" 4.2 light years from Earth. The planet is 1.3 times Earth's size, and is rocky -- as far as scientists can tell. And it's just far enough from its star to possibly have liquid water.

The downsides: Proxima b gets a lot more radiation from its star than Earth does. And there's no way to tell if the planet has an atmosphere, which is kind of necessary for life. 

If you've got one in your backyard, it tells you that through the galaxy there are going to be many, many of these types of planets.
Richard Nelson, study co-author

Why this one matters

You've probably heard similar stories of Earth-like planets before. But scientists say this planet has much more evidence than other previously announced exoplanets.

And since Proxima b is so close, the odds are good that there are more planets like it.

We might be a ways from sending humans to Proxima b, but we bet astronauts will prep how they do now: By living underwater.

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