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Light from Alien Super-Earth Seen for 1st Time

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Published on May 9, 2012

light from an alien "super-Earth" twice the size of our own Earth has been detected by a NASA space telescope for the first time in what astronomers are calling a historic achievement.

NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope spotted light from the alien planet 55 Cancri e, which orbits a star 41 light-years from Earth. A year on the extrasolar planet lasts just 18 hours.

The planet 55 Cancri e was first discovered in 2004 and is not a habitable world. Instead, it is known as a super-Earth because of its size: The world is about twice the width of Earth and has about eight times the mass of Earth.

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