Astronomers have found the closest rocky planet outside our Solar System
But living on it would really suck.
Astronomers using the Spitzer Space telescope have identified the closest rocky planet outside our Solar System to date. Named HD 219134b, the planet is located 21 light-years away, which is relatively close, when you consider that the Earth-like planet recently discovered by NASA and its planet-stalking telescope Kepler is a distant 1,400 light-years away.
“Most of the known planets are hundreds of light-years away. This one is practically a next-door neighbour,” one of the team, Lars A. Buchhave from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, said in a press release.
HD 219134b is 1.6 times the size of Earth, holds four times its mass, and has a three-day orbit around its host star. While the planet itself can’t be seen, even through a telescope, its star is so bright, it’s visible to the naked eye if you look in the vicinity of the North Star in the Cassiopeia constellation.