A planet with about the same mass as Earth
has been discovered in orbit around Alpha Centauri B, a star in the Alpha Centauri triple star system - the solar system's closest neighbor, a mere 4.3 light years away. Alpha Centauri B is very similar to the Sun, and this marks the first planet with a mass similar to Earth ever found around a Sun-like star. However, the planet is orbiting at a distance of about six million kilometers, much closer than Mercury is to the Sun in the Solar System, so temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius may make vacationing there unpalatable even for the most dedicated beach-goer. However, lead paper author Xavier Dumusque called it "a major step towards the detection of a twin Earth in the immediate vicinity of the Sun."
posted by kyrademon
on Oct 16, 2012 -
NASA has announced
that the latest Kepler data dump
contains 1,091 extrasolar planet
candidates, with 196 Earth-sized planets among them. The data shows "a clear trend toward smaller planets at longer orbital periods is evident with each new catalog release. This suggests that Earth-size planets in the habitable zone are forthcoming if, indeed, such planets are abundant." Total Kepler candidates as of February 27, 2012: 2,321
. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor
on Mar 1, 2012 -
have just published a paper entitled "Gliese 581d is the 1st discovered terrestrial-mass exoplanet in the habitable zone", claiming that their computer model suggests the exoplanet
"will have a stable atmosphere and surface liquid water for a wide range of plausible cases."
We've discovered a lot
of exoplanets. And there are a lot
to help you keep track. Previously.
posted by Ipsifendus
on May 26, 2011 -