Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Closest planet found outside solar system

Planet about 4 light-years away, unlikely to harbor life (or at least life as we know it) (CNN) - The hunt for planets like our own has come up with a striking discovery: There's a planet about the same size as Earth in the nearby Alpha Centauri system, and it's the closest planet found outside our solar system. "Close," of course, is a relative term. No one's getting there anytime soon: The newly found planet, which orbits a star called Alpha Centauri B, is about 4 light-years, or 23.5 trillion miles, away. Based on its mass, the planet is a rocky world and not gaseous, said Xavier Dumusque of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland. He and his colleagues published the findings in the journal Nature.


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