Radio Times

The Search for Earth-like planets

November 12, 2012


Hour 2

Last week, astronomers announced they had found a planet seven times the size of Earth and with a habitable climate.  This Super-Earth orbits dwarf star HD 40307 and is just 43 million light years away (one light year is roughly 5.9 trillion miles).  In October, star gazing scientists had announced another planetary discovery in the Alpha Centauri star system, the system closest to our sun.  Alpha Centauri B b, as it’s been named, shares some characteristics with Earth including size and mass but its surface is likely molten lava since its orbit is a little too close to its sun.  These discoveries have excited scientists who say its further proof that there are planets in the Universe a lot like Earth.  Science writer MICHAEL LEMONICK followed these new discoveries closely and has just published a book on exoplanets called “Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet’s Twin.”  Marty talks to Lemonick about his book and the recent what the discoveries tell us about the Universe.


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