Astronomers from the Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg have discovered a new planet near Alpha Centauri, the closest star to the sun. They announced their discovery at the Journees-2014 scientific conference. Although the planet is not visible from a telescope, scientists have mathematically calculated its possible location.
The new planet is a mystery to scientists. It is located outside of the “circumstellar habitable zone,” which is the region surrounding a star in which a planet can contain liquid water without freezing or evaporating. However, the results of spectral radiation analysis indicate that there may be liquid water on the new planet.
This is the second planet in the Alpha Centauri system. Scientists from the European Southern Observatory discovered the first one in 2012.
First published in Russian in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
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