Third planet discovered around Sun’s closest star

The discovery of a third planet orbiting the Sun's nearest neighbouring star has been announced by astronomers.

Four light years away is Proxima Centauri.

The planet, known as Proxima d, is expected to have around a quarter the mass of Earth.

If confirmed, it will be one of the lightest exoplanets ever discovered.

The discovery demonstrates that our nearest star neighbour appears to be teeming with new worlds.on Earth

Joo Faria, the study's lead author, said in an accompanying statement that the findings

within reach of additional investigation and future exploration.

The planet travels 4 million kilometres around Proxima Centauri, less than one-tenth the distance between Mercury and the Sun.

The radial velocity method detected the planet.

It detects gravitational perturbations caused by the interaction of a planet and a star

Proxima d is thought to be a candidate exoplanet that will be verified by additional observations.

On Thursday, the research was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

For the next 4,000 years, Earth will share its orbit with a second 'Trojan' asteroid.

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