This image of the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri AB also shows the much fainter red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our own solar system. 

(ESO/Davide De Martin/Mahdi Zamani)

The nearest star to the sun is orbited by a planet that could possibly support life, scientists announced last week. Proxima Centauri is a red-dwarf star just over 4 light years away, making it our stellar next-door neighbor.  Its newly discovered planet, named Proxima b, is in the “habitable zone” -  an orbit that would allow planet temperatures to sustain liquid water.  Doug Duncan, director of the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, says that the search for exoplanets is the frontier of astronomy.  Duncan spoke with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.