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Astronomers have spotted what could be a new life-supporting planet orbiting one of the closest neighboring stars to our solar system, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

Researchers glimpsed signs of the promising bright dot near Alpha Centauri A — a binary pair of stars orbiting one another at such close proximity that they look like only one to the naked eye — in the Centaurus constellation.

Located 4.37 light-years away, the binary star system of Alpha Centauri could host a planet https://interestingengineering.com/looking-for-life-beyond-earth-the-search-for-habitable-exoplanets">capable of supporting life. But since this discovery is so recent, scientists are only calling it a "planet candidate" — since it could simply be streaks of space dust, asteroids, or even a glitch in the telescopic equipment.

"We detected something," said Chief Engineer Pete Klupar of the Breakthrough Initiatives, which are a collection of space-oriented projects funded by Yuri Milner — a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is also head of an https://interestingengineering.com/from-point-a-to-point-b-how-do-we-achieve-interstellar-flight">interstellar project called Breakthrough Starshot. "It could be an artifact in the machine or it could be a planet, or it could be asteroids or dust."

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