Contact: Barbara K.Kennedy
Caption: A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest star system to the sun and the closest discovered since 1916. At 6.5 light years, it is so close that Earth's television transmissions from 2006 are now arriving there. It is an excellent hunting ground for planets because it is very close to Earth and, in the distant future, it might be one of the first destinations for manned expeditions outside our solar system. The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University and a researcher in Penn State's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. This image is an artist's conception of the binary system WISE J104915.57-531906 with the Sun in the background.
Credit: Janella Williams, Penn State University
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Related news release: The closest star system found in a century