14. Alien Planet Found Around Nearest Star

Of the 100 exoplanets discovered in 2012, one rises above the rest.

By Andrew Grant|Monday, December 17, 2012
RELATED TAGS: STARS, NEW PLANETS, TELESCOPES
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Astronomers identified more than 100 more worlds around other stars in 2012, but one especially hit home—because it is right next door. Scientists have spent more than a decade probing for planets around Alpha Centauri, a trio of stars just 4.4 light-years away. In October, Xavier Dumusque at the Observatory of Geneva and colleagues described a slight wobble in Alpha Centauri B, caused by the tug of an Earth-mass planet orbiting every three days around that yellowish, sunlike star.  A...
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