New near Earth Exoplanet!!

Well this is exciting news!

Astronomers from Europe have found an Earth mass planet orbiting the Alpha Centauri system.  Not only is the planet in the closest system to Earth (Alpha Centauri is a meagre 4.3 light years away) but it’s also the lightest exoplanet found  orbiting a star similar to our own.

Researchers noted that “This is the first planet with a mass similar to Earth ever found around a star like the Sun. Its orbit is very close to its star and it must be much too hot for life as we know it.


A new exoplanet found in the Alpha Centauri system (Photo Courtesy of the ESO)

The planet was found using HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) on the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The ESO Press release can be found here.