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Exoplanets

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illustration of a seven planet solar system

PLANETARY LINEUP  Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 with short periods, from 1.5 to 20 Earth days. This artist’s illustration shows potential differences in the planets’ surfaces and sizes.

proxima b

HEY NEIGHBOR Proxima b, depicted with its star in this illustration, is at least 1.3 times as massive as Earth — but that is just a minimum estimate.

illustration of the surface of Proxima b

A WORLD NEXT DOOR  Proxima Centauri casts a reddish glow over the surface of Proxima b (illustrated), the closest exoplanet to Earth, while two companion stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, appear as bright pinpricks of light.

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