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Earth sized planet discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri !

#sciencesunday #astronomy #space #alphacentauri #euromaestro

Astronomers have discovered a planet roughly the same size as Earth orbiting the star nearest our Sun, Alpha Centauri B.

The star is only 4.4 light-years away from Earth.

Using our current technology, we will be able to send spacecraft that will arrive there in 40 000 years.

When our spacecraft arrive there, they are unlikely to find any signs of life as the planet is very close to its sun. The year there is only 3.2 days long and the surface is most likely composed of molten lava with temperatures in excess of 1 000 degrees.

Read the article on wired.com written by +Adam Mann
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/earth-exoplanet-alpha-centauri/

Read the article written by +Ned Potter on +ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/10/alpha-centauri-nearest-star-has-earth-sized-planet/

Danger, Danger, Will Robinson !

Looking closely in the upper right hand corner, you can see a planet that debatably looks like it supports intelligent life !
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45 comments
 
NASA, you got another probe you can send?
 
+Neva Simonton The Jupiter mission is going. Dr. Smith is looking for collaborators. Are you willing to sign up ? 
 
Technically, though, isn't Proxima Centauri the nearest star? >:?
 
4.4 light-years away means that even if the planet was habitable, even a telephone call would have an 8.8-year turnaround. One short conversation would take a lifetime.
 
I read about this in Scientific American about a year ago, it is crazy cool stuff. :)  Also the water, albeit frozen soup, they found on Saturn I think or was it Jupiter?
 
So  it is funny to use "only" to decorate 4.4 light-years.
 
Whatever we might discover, or think we have discovered, Earth is the only planet we can live on in the entire universe. Star Trek is wonderful TV, but it is fiction. Earth is it, so we should be making the best of it and not wrecking it. It is a waste of time, effort and money looking for other habitable planets, and at the same time making this one uninhabitable.
 
+Nobilangelo Ceramalus Interesting comment. Certainly we shouldn't make this planet uninhabitable.  But searching for other planets doesn't endanger our planet.  
 
I didn't say that searching for other planets endangered Earth. Of course not! What I said was that it is a waste of time, energy and money looking, especially when we are busy wrecking this one.

Why get excited about a theory 4.4 light-years away? Too many people have watched too much Star Trek and think its real.
 
Everyone has the right to make choice what they want to do. It is acceptable that some people make earth to become more habitable and some people look for other habitable planets for human's future.
 
Every research has a great value.If it does not serve us now,it represents a great database to the scientists and generation of tomorrow.
 
As telescopes get more and more powerful, we see details unavailable before.  There may come a day when we know what planets nearby may have intelligent life we can relate to.  I hope and trust that NASA and ESA and other such agencies continue to get wise funding, and outer space is opened up to more Capitalism.
 
+Nobilangelo Ceramalus A faster phone call would be to figure out how to open a worm hole link between here and there, and run a communication infrastructure through it.
 
With wormhole technology, we could also move to a wormhole telescope, to show us reality there right now, not 4.4 years ago.
 
We are running out of resources on planet Earth, which our civilization depends on.  One solution is to move asteroids near Earth, which have those precious metals and other commodities, to mine them, deliver the goods via space elevator, which is the most environmentally responsible and most economical delivery system for taking stuff to space, and returning to Earth.  With good planning, some of those asteroids will be hollowed out, and given a spin, so that the interior has simulated Earth gravity, to be used as new homes for some space travelers.  (Edited to fix a typo).
 
I for one welcome our new Belter overlords
( Niven reference )
 
On G+ we have good conversations when many of us live on different sides of planet Earth, awake different time periods.  We do not have to wait until other side has responded to every comment.  Likewise a conversation with intelligent life 5 light years away, does not have to wait on responses to one comment, before making replies.
 
We need to develop the ability to move asteroids and other rocks in space, before we go the way of the dinosaurs.
 
We probably cannot fix all the garbage being broadcast from planet Earth which gives our civilization a bad reputation, but maybe we can put something in space to jam it, so its range is limited.
 
+Adam Black If you have seen Watson defeating the Jeopardy champion, you might have heard that reference as well. 
 
I can video right now, but will be getting off the comp soon
 
+Daniel Ely Rankin Ok, no rush.  Can be sometime next week.  I think there will be a post coming out, I'll tag you in it. 
 
definitely.  I am teaming up with energyfromthorium.org to take on the legal battles necessary in the US (possibly abroad as well).  any press on that or @thorfoundation on twitter would be awesome!  We have a non profit set up and are looking to take this thing on by storm.  im really excited.
 
An excellent discovery. Congratulations to all involved.
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