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Just A Hop, Skip And A Parsec Away

An artist’s impression of the planet Proxima b. Photo: ESO
An artist’s impression of the planet Proxima b. Photo: ESO

You’ve probably already heard by now, but scientists just discovered an exoplanet that might be like Earth. It’s pretty close, too -- only about a parsec, or 4 light years away. Observers discovered it by noticing a wobble in the star Proxima Centari. That wobble was from the tug of this exoplanet.

Now, it’s time to verify the results. Joseph Harrington is a planetary scientist in the Department of Physicsat the University of Central Florida. He’s going to try and spot evidence of the planet using telescopes in space. He talks to host Brendan Byrne about the work  and what a discovery of this magnitude means for astronomy.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."