New planet found in Earth’s backyard

Astronomers have found a new planet, the closest yet outside our solar system and just an astronomical stone's throw away at four light years, raising the chances of finding a habitable planet in Earth's neighbourhood.

Researchers say the new planet is too close to its sun to support known forms of life, w ith a surface temperature estimated at 1,200 degrees Celsius. But previous studies suggest that when one planet is discovered orbiting a sun, there are usually others in the same system.

The new Earth-sized planet, announced in science journal Nature by Stephane Udry and Xavier Dumusque at the Geneva Observatory, orbits one of the suns in Alpha Centauri, roughly 25 trillion miles away.

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