Feeds

Earth-sized planet found at Alpha Centauri B

‘Scorched rock’ is just 4.37 light years away

Boost IT visibility and business value

Astronomers have spotted an Earth-sized exoplanet in orbit around Alpha Centauri B.

At just 4.37 light years away, the stars of the Centaurus constellation are Earth’s nearest neighbours. That makes the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet rather exciting.

Sadly, the planet is even closer to its star than Mercury is to Sol, leading Nature to describe it as “a scorched and barren rock".

But it’s not all bad news, as the exoplanet is the smallest yet spotted. Nature therefore decrees the discovery “… a triumph for a venerable planet-finding technique that monitors a star for a subtle back-and-forth ‘wobble’ in its motion as seen from Earth, caused by the gravitational tug of an orbiting body.”

That means even though humanity currently lacks decent space-based planet-spotting kit, we’re at least getting better at finding orbiting lumps of rock and/or gas.

The find is one of many new planets spotted this year, increasing general enthusiasm for the notion that the universe is filled with potential new homes. That still leaves humanity the task of figuring out how to get there with something other than a nuclear-powered, laser-armed tank that has a top speed of 150m metres an hour. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?