This planet is not habitable – it is way too hot for life as we know it – but still pretty darn cool. But it is in the Alpha Centauri system, putting it only a few light years away and making it the closest known planet outside our solar system. That it is Earth sized is even better, proving that the nearest stars can have rocky, Earth-sized planets….. And just as importantly that we can find them. For those wanting an exoplanet probe….You have your target (until something juicier is discovered.)
In short, we have found a super-Mercury in our Sun’s neighborhood. Very cool, if you ask me.
More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/science/space/new-planet-found-in-alpha-centauri.html?_r=0
…and here: http://www.nature.com/news/the-exoplanet-next-door-1.11605
Here’s the paper! http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11572.html