Closest ‘Alien Earth’ May Be 13 Light-Years Away

An Earth-like alien planet may reside right in our solar system’s backyard, just 13 light-years or so away, astronomers announced today (Feb. 6). That number is just an estimate, though, and not based on an exoplanet discovery.

The researchers used data from NASA’s prolific planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which is staring at more than 150,000 stars simultaneously. Kepler detects planets by measuring the temporary brightness dips caused when the worlds pass in front of, or transit, their stars’ faces from the instrument’s perspective….

Image credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

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