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New exoplanet candidate discovered orbiting closest star Proxima Centauri

Astronomers discovered a new exoplanet candidate in neighboring star system Alpha Centauri. Very small exoplanet might be orbiting the smallest star in the system Proxima Centauri which is already known to have at least two exoplanets.

Exoplanet orbiting red dwarf star



Newly discovered candidate has only a quarter of Earth's mass which would make it the lightest known exoplanet yet. The discovery was made with Very Large Telescope in Chile via radial velocity method which searches for little deviations in the star’s motion caused by the gravity of orbiting planet.

Proxima Centauri is the smallest of the three stars in the neighboring Alpha Centauri system, which lies 4.2 light years away. Previous searches uncovered two exoplanets orbiting this star.

Related stars in catalogue

Star Star type Distance
(light years)
Exoplanets
part of star image
part of star image
Proxima Centauri Red dwarf 4.2
2
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