Thursday, 7 February 2013

Closest 'Alien Earth': 13 Light-Years Away ?

by Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com Contributor

Date: 06 February 2013 Time: 05:45 PM ET
 
Red Dwarf Star Erupts With Ultraviolet Radiation
When it's young, a red dwarf star frequently erupts with strong ultraviolet flares as shown in this artist's conception. Some have argued that life would be impossible on any planet orbiting in the star's habitable zone as a result. However, the planet's atmosphere could protect the surface, and in fact such stresses could help life to evolve. And when the star ages and settles down, its planet would enjoy billions of years of quiet, steady radiance. Image released Feb. 6, 2013.
CREDIT: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
An Earth-like alien planet may reside right in our solar system's backyard, just 13 light-years or so away, astronomers announced today (Feb. 6).

That number is just an estimate, though, and not based on an exoplanet discovery.

The researchers used data from NASA's prolific planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which is staring at more than 150,000 stars simultaneously. Kepler detects planets by measuring the temporary brightness dips caused when the worlds pass in front of, or transit, their stars' faces from the instrument's perspective.











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Source: Space.com .

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