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22 October 2012

Our Nearest Neighbour has a Planet.

  A planet only 13% bigger than Earth was discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri (the closest star system). Problem is that it orbits 10x closer than Mercury and has a surface temperature of about 1200C. Not a good holiday destination.
 There may be more planets at Alpha Centauri, but the close-in one is right at the edge of how sensitive the detection system is. There is a new detector going online in 2017 that would be able to detect a Earth-sized planet orbiting at an Earth-like distance. I guess we will see then.

 Artist rendition

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