- (Photo: Reuters/NOAA/NASA/GOES/Handout)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope will have two opportunities in the next two years to search for Earth-sized planets orbiting the red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri.
Scientists believe studying possible Earth-sized bodies will help them learn more about Earth itself.
According to Science World Report, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth's Sun. From October 2014 through February 2016, the star will pass in front of two other stars, exposing possible observable planets. Scientists believe by looking for microlensing effects left by the stars they will be able to view the planets.
"Microlensing occurs when a foreground star passes close to our line of sight to a more distant background star. These images of the background star may be distorted, brightened and multiplied depending on the alignment between the foreground lens and the background source," reports Science World.
Red stars are among the most common types of stars within the Milky Way Galaxy. Alpha Centauri is the closest star of a trio to the Earth's solar system. Red Dwarf's are smaller than Earth's Sun, therefore the planets are generally smaller or closer to the size of the Earth, says Space.com.
Recently scientists discovered a never-before-seen alien planet just 300 light years away. The improbable length of 300 light years, or 3.7 billion round trip flights to the moon, was observed orbiting a star of that distance.
This planet may be the smallest foreign world seen outside of the solar system, according to Fox News. A photo was released Monday by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) depicting the new planet as a bright blue dot next to it's star, HD 95086. The planet, HD 95086 b, is suspected to be a gas giant, much like the outer four planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
ESO, based in Chile, used their massive telescope to spot the celestial object, and believe it is only four or five times larger than Jupiter based on its brightness.