A Sudden Burgeoning Into Space? From Astronomy To SETI And The Commercialization Of Space…

By David Brin | November 16th 2012 11:06 AM

The Exoplanet next door: Astronomers have discovered the lowest-mass planet yet orbiting a Sun-like star. But the even-more exciting news is that it orbits ? Centauri B, a member of the stellar system that is our Solar System’s nearest neighbour. Although nearly identical to Earth in mass, the planet is much closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun, meaning that it is likely a scorched and barren rock. Nevertheless, its astronomical proximity to Earth will undoubtedly stir dreams of interstellar exploration, particularly as astronomers search ? Centauri for more hospitable worlds.

A brown dwarf or a failed star? Astronomers find a truly lonely planet: a “homeless” wandering exoplanet without a star. The free-floating planet CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9 was discovered by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Array.

Read more: A Sudden Burgeoning Into Space? From Astronomy To SETI And The Commercialization Of Space… — Science 2.0.

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