I'm Moving: There Is At Least One Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri, The Closest Star To Earth (Besides The Sun)

October 17, 2012


Alpha Centauri is the closest star to earth besides our sun. It's four light-years away. That's the distance light travels in four years. In the grand scheme of the universe, that's not very far, but it would still make for a really long road trip and you'd probably wind up murdering a friend. BUT PACK YOUR BAGS WE'RE GOING ANYWAYS BECAUSE THAT SHIT HAS A PLANET.

The first results are in -- and yes, there is at least one planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, one of the three stars clustered together there. European astronomers, using a 3.6 meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, report it is remarkably small -- about as massive as Earth. Worlds that small have been beyond earthlings' capacity to detect them until just very recently.

Let's get some details out of the way quickly. The newly found planet is probably hellish, only about 4 million miles from its host star (we're 93 million miles from ours). It's also fast, completing one orbit -- one "year" -- in only 3.2 of our days.

Hey, you know what? Earth is pretty hellish too. Not so much temperature-wise, but people-wise. They're really starting to get to me. Just this morning I had to yell at a neighbor for trying to steal my newspaper. NO SIR, NOT TODAY YOU'RE NOT. You go read the internet for the news -- I've got spiders to kill.

Thanks to Ford, who knows what I like and it's daydreaming about rocketing off this craphole.

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