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Rocky exoplanet found is gold mine for astronomers

Rocky exoplanet found is gold mine for astronomers
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Astronomers using a NASA telescope have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system which is larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data. Dubbed HD 219134b, the exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is mere 21 light-years away.

Washington: Astronomers using a NASA telescope have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system which is larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data. Dubbed HD 219134b, the exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is mere 21 light-years away.


It is also the closest exoplanet to Earth to be detected transiting, or crossing in front of, its star and, therefore, perfect for extensive research. "Transiting exoplanets are worth their weight in gold because they can be extensively characterised," said Michael Werner, project scientist for the Spitzer telescope mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

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