Proxima b
This artist’s impression shows planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar SystemESO/M Kornmesser

The discovery of a planet in orbit within the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system, has raised great expectations in the scientific community. It is arguably one of the most groundbreaking astronomical discoveries in recent years.

A team international of astronomers, led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London used European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes to identify the exoplanet. They named it Proxima b, and say it is the closest to Earth ever identified, which makes it the prime target in the search for life outside of our solar system.

Proxima b's distance to its parents star suggest the existence of life on its surface possible.

Indeed, it lies in the so-called 'Goldilocks', or habitable zone, a range of orbits where the presence of liquid water on the surface is possible given sufficient atmospheric pressure.

Anyone passionate about astronomy and excited by the discovery will now have the opportunity to explore this whole new world live online.

Slooh's telescopes

Slooh, the international telescope service, will host a special broadcast featuring live views of the exoplanet's parent star, Proxima Centauri, the closest star system to Earth, through its telescopes in Chile. Exoplanet researchers and members of the ESO team will also be present, and will share their insight on the incredible discovery.

The plan is for them to discuss what the team has learned so far about this mysterious nearby planet – which is still more than four light-years away – and what they hope to learn in the future.

Eric will also be joined by Dr Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, to discuss the implications of the discovery. They'll explore the chances of life on the planet, and what this discovery means for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

You can watch the talk and the incredible views of star Proxima Centauri live below. The event starts at 01:00 BST on Saturday 27 August 2016.

Alternatively, you can go directly to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, chat with other audience members, interact with the hosts and personally control Slooh's telescopes.