Friday, 19 October 2012
Latest Exoplanet Is Scorching Hot
An artist’s impression of the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. Image courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org).
This week Nature reported on the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B 4.37 light years from us. Its proximity prompted at least one evolutionist to speculate that Earth’s twin would be discovered soon.
Astronomers at the University of Geneva made the discovery that Nature published online.
Dubbed Alpha Centauri Bb, the Earth-sized rocky planet orbits closer to its sun than Mercury ours so it is no paradise. Little green men would soon loose all their greenness and be turned into little scorched men.
A. Centauri is a triple-star system. Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and Proxima Centauri are just fractions of a light year from each other. With three suns in the sky, nights on Alpha Centauri Bb will probably be short.
Exoplanet hunters have not found a single genuinely Earth-like planet. Nature News reported that although NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has found 3,000 potential exoplanets, not even one of the Earth-sized planets orbits its sun in its habitable zone.
Earth seems to be a very special planet.
Hand, Eric. 2012. The exoplanet next door: Earth-sized world discovered in nearby α Centauri star system. Nature News. (16 October).