NASA?s Kepler Mission Discovers A World Orbiting Two Starsnewser

(NEWSER) – When an Earth-sized planet was detected in the closest star system to us in 2012, excited astronomers suggested dropping everything and sending a probe.

That would have been a mistake, because researchers have now determined that Alpha Centauri Bb does not exist. Astronomers—including the team that "discovered" the planet—say that data that appeared to indicate the existence of the planet through subtle changes in light was really a "ghost" signal caused by the method by which the light was measured, reports National Geographic, which likens the use of patchy data in the search for exoplanets to trying to identify a piano concerto when you can only hear one note out of every 10.

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