Rendezvous with exoplanet Ross 128 in 79,000 years. Bob Zimmerman

Nov 17, 05:47 AM

11-17-2017 (Photo:This video takes you on a fly-through of the space around the nearest stars to the Sun. Some familiar stars are visible, such as Alpha Centauri, Sirius and Barnard's Star, but there is also a faint object only discovered in early 2013 — this is WISE J104915.57-531906.1AB, which is informally known as Luhman 16AB, a recently discovered pair of brown dwarfs only six light-years from the Sun. It is the third closest system to the Solar System. ) Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Rendezvous with exoplanet Ross 128 in 79,000 years. Bob Zimmerman

Worlds without end: Astronomers have found an Earth-mass planet 11 light years away, orbiting a quiet red dwarf star in the habitable zone.

Unlike Proxima Centauri, which periodically has large flares which make its Earth-sized planet less hospitable to life, this red dwarf, Ross 128, is more stable.

Many red dwarf stars, including Proxima Centauri, are subject to flares that occasionally bathe their orbiting planets in deadly ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. However, it seems that Ross 128 is a much quieter star, and so its planets may be the closest known comfortable abode for possible life.

Although it is currently 11 light-years from Earth, Ross 128 is moving towards us and is expected to become our nearest stellar neighbour in just 79 000 years — a blink of the eye in cosmic terms. Ross 128 b will by then take the crown from Proxima b and become the closest exoplanet to Earth!

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