Alpha Centauri


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Just yesterday it was announced that a planet has been discovered around the closest star system to Earth, Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is a triple-star system that lies approximately 4.3 light-years away. It consists of a binary system, Alpha Centauri A and B which are similar in composition to our own sun. And orbiting this binary is a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri.

The discovered planet is orbiting Alpha Centauri B and has a mass very similar to the Earth. There’s just one problem – it has an orbital period of only 3.24 days! That means it is extremely close its parent star making it nothing but a super-cooked husk but it still leaves possibility for other planets to be in the system. You can read more about the discovery here.

The image I made shows this new planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B along with Alpha Centauri A and Proxima Centauri in the background. Thanks to the Bad Astronomer for letting me know that Proxima Centauri is in reality a lot dimmer than shown in the image and if you were standing on this planet it would barely be visible to the naked eye.

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