Recently, scientists have discovered some interesting exoplanets. An exoplanet is a planet outside our solar system that orbits some star other than the Sun. One of the planets discovered is very close to us. The planet orbits a star called Alpha Centauri B, which is one of the closest stars to our sun. Alpha Centauri B is about 4.3 light years away. A light year is the distance that light travels in a year (about 6 trillion miles or 10 trillion km). In space distances, that’s really close. The planet has mass similar to our Earth. However, it’s super hot on the planet since it’s very close to Alpha Centauri B.
Another planet found has been named PH1 (see image). It is the first planet that has been found to have 4 stars. PH1 orbits around 2 stars, and there are 2 more stars that orbit around them. PH1 is about 5,000 light years away from Earth.
Did you know?
Over 800 exoplanets have been identified, and over 2,000 candidate planets are still being studied.
Image Credits: NASA for PH1’s image