NASA space telescope discovers Earth’s closest rocky neighbor

NASA researchers working with the Spitzer Space Telescope announced on Thursday that they had indeed found the closest rocky exoplanet to our own. It’s a tiny burg called HD 219134b that’s just 21 light years from Earth in the Cassiopeia constellation, near the North Star. It was first spotted with the 3.6-meter Galileo National Telescope in the Canary Islands before being confirmed with the Spitzer. Even though the planet is larger than Earth, researchers only noticed it as it transited across the face of its parent star (astronomers look for the star to dim then brighten again as evidence of an orbiting planet). Unfortunately, there’s basically zero chance that we’ll find aliens there as 134b orbits far too close to sustain life.

via NASA space telescope discovers Earth’s closest rocky neighbor.

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