The universe just got a whole lot smaller. This week scientists at the European Southern Observatory confirmed the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri and published their findings in Nature.
This is huge. Massive. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth (besides the Sun, obviously), and given that we’ve already found hundreds of exoplanets, this could mean that the universe really is littered with life. After all, just about every star we turn to seems to have a few planets, often with at least one in the habitable zone — a region around a star that could be just the right temperature to allow for liquid water on the surface.