Saturday, January 21, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Planet discovered in Alpha Centauri system


Posted on Wednesday, 17 October, 2012 | Comment icon 30 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: ESO

 
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized world in orbit around the next nearest star system to our own.

The small rocky planet is the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a Sun-like star, it is also the nearest at just 4.3 light years. The Alpha Centauri system has long intrigued astronomers as it is the closest to us and is likely to be our first interstellar destination when future space-faring technology permits us to travel beyond the confines of our own solar system.

"Our observations extended over more than four years using the HARPS instrument and have revealed a tiny, but real, signal from a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B every 3.2 days," said lead author Xavier Dumusque. "It’s an extraordinary discovery and it has pushed our technique to the limit!"

"European astronomers have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system - the nearest to Earth."

  View: Full article |  Source: ESO.org

  Discuss: View comments (30)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by Harte on 18 October, 2012, 16:04
Damn, that is some cool news!!! Sadly it appears to be too close to Centauri B to be habitable... I'm surprised it's even there at all. With two main stars and a third associated, the system wouldn't exhibit a large number of stable orbits regarding objects of planetary mass. Harte
Comment icon #22 Posted by bison on 18 October, 2012, 21:27
No one caught my error, I see. The Allen Telescope Array is too far North for Alpha Centauri to be visible to it. The SETI Institute is presumably considering the use of another radio telescope, farther South, to examine Alpha Centauri. It lies at almost 61 degrees South celestial latitude.
Comment icon #23 Posted by DieChecker on 19 October, 2012, 6:36
Didn't it used to be that binary (not to mention trinary) star systems had zero chance of planets. Isn't that built into the Drake Equation? Is the Drake Equation due for an overhaul??
Comment icon #24 Posted by Taun on 19 October, 2012, 11:14
No one caught my error, I see. The Allen Telescope Array is too far North for Alpha Centauri to be visible to it. The SETI Institute is presumably considering the use of another radio telescope, farther South, to examine Alpha Centauri. It lies at almost 61 degrees South celestial latitude. Odd isn't it?... I know exactly where the Centauri system is - how far, which direction and how it is placed in relation to our system (I even have it plotted on an X,Y,Z grid map of all other stars within 30 light years).... but I have no idea where the Allen Telescope is....
Comment icon #25 Posted by bison on 19 October, 2012, 13:09
Alpha Centauri is a trinary system. It used to be thought that multiple star systems were unlikely to allow stable planet orbits. Our observations of extrasolar planets in such systems has taught us otherwise. The thinking now is that 50 or 60 percent of them *do* offer such orbits. The Allen Telescope array is in Northern California, at about 40 degrees North latitude, not near any sizable town, by design, to avoid terrestrial radio interference with its receivers.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Harte on 19 October, 2012, 14:46
Didn't it used to be that binary (not to mention trinary) star systems had zero chance of planets. Isn't that built into the Drake Equation? Is the Drake Equation due for an overhaul?? Last I checked, which was decades ago, nobody had solved the "three-body problem" for significant masses. Harte
Comment icon #27 Posted by Magiclass on 19 October, 2012, 15:25
It would be arrogant to think that this planet was the only one of it's kind in the universe.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Harte on 19 October, 2012, 17:36
I agree. After all, there's Hyrule to consider. Harte
Comment icon #29 Posted by bison on 19 October, 2012, 18:40
Brian Vastag, science writer for the Washington Post, confirms that Dr. Seth Shostak told him that the SETI Institute would probably scan Alpha Centauri, on the basis of the newly announced planet discovery. The Parkes radio telescope in Australia seems a good candidate for this project. The SETI Institute has worked cooperatively with Parkes in the past. At a distance of only about four light years, it might be possible to detect an unintentional signal, such as a space craft and/or asteroid monitoring radar.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Abramelin on 19 October, 2012, 19:05
Cool find, I just "knew" it was bound to happen : http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=233571


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5857441
264625
165134

 
Nearby planet Wolf 1061c may be habitable
1-20-2017
Astronomers believe that a planet 14 light years away may be a promising place to look for alien life.
Lost kingdom of Rheged found in Scotland
1-20-2017
Archaeologists believe that they have located the site of a lost kingdom dating back to the Dark Ages.
Sea levels could rise by 30ft, study warns
1-20-2017
Scientists have warned that global sea levels could continue to rise over the coming decades.
Namibia fairy circle mystery solved at last ?
1-19-2017
Ecologists believe that they may have finally solved the mystery behind Namibia's mysterious circles.
Other news in this category
Nearby planet Wolf 1061c may be habitable
Posted 1-20-2017 | 13 comments
Astronomers believe that a planet 14 light years away may be a promising place to look for alien life....
 
Curiosity discovers metallic meteorite on Mars
Posted 1-18-2017 | 8 comments
The rover has come across what scientists believe to be an iron-nickel meteorite on the Martian surface....
 
New video reveals Huygens' harrowing descent
Posted 1-17-2017 | 6 comments
NASA has released a new video recreating the Huygens probe's historic touchdown on Saturn's moon Titan....
 
SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket
Posted 1-15-2017 | 3 comments
The private space firm has resumed operations following the explosion of one of its rockets last year....
 
Giant towers of ice discovered on Pluto
Posted 1-14-2017 | 8 comments
The discovery marks the first time this phenomenon has been observed anywhere other than on the Earth....
 
Asteroid narrowly avoids striking the Earth
Posted 1-10-2017 | 30 comments
A previously unknown asteroid dubbed 2017 AG13 passed between the Earth and the Moon yesterday....
 
New photograph shows the Earth from Mars
Posted 1-9-2017 | 12 comments
NASA has recently published a stunning new photograph taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter....
 
NASA announces two new asteroid missions
Posted 1-8-2017 | 0 comments
Known as Lucy and Psyche, the new spacecraft will be studying two relics of the early solar system....
 
NASA announces new X-ray space telescope
Posted 1-5-2017 | 5 comments
A budget of $188 million has been assigned to the new mission which will be launching within three years....
 
SpaceX set to resume launches on January 8th
Posted 1-3-2017 | 4 comments
The private space firm is planning to begin launching satellites again following last year's explosion....
 
Meteor filmed soaring over erupting volcano
Posted 1-2-2017 | 2 comments
The impressive spectacle was caught on camera over the erupting Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ