Alien Planet May Lurk Around Nearby Failed Stars

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Astronomers have spotted signs of a possible exoplanet in a nearby system of twin failed stars. If confirmed, the alien world would be one of the closest to our sun ever found.

Scientists only discovered the pair of failed stars, known as brown dwarfs, last year. At just 6.6 light-years from Earth, the pair is the third closest system to our sun. It’s actually so close that “television transmissions from 2006 are now arriving there,” Kevin Luhman, of Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, noted when their discovery was first announced in June.

The brown dwarf system, which has been dubbed Luhman 16AB and is officially classifed as WISE J104915.57-531906, is slightly more distant than Barnard’s star, a red dwarf six light-years away that was first seen in 1916. Even closer to our sun is Alpha Centauri, whose two main stars form a binary pair about 4.4 light-years away. The alien planet Alpha Centauri Bb is known to orbit one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri system, and currently holds the title of closest exoplanet to our solar system Read more…

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