Xavier Dumusque's Alpha Centauri
Originally Posted by NY Times - 10/16/12Bringing the search for another Earth about as close as it will ever get, a team of European astronomers was scheduled to announce on Wednesday that it had found a planet the same mass as Earth’s in Alpha Centauri, a triple star system that is the Sun’s closest neighbor, only 4.4 light-years away. The planet is the lightest one ever found orbiting another star and — in the words of its discoverer, Xavier Dumusque, a graduate student at the Geneva Observatory — “it will surely be the closest one ever.”
As far as exoplanets go this is a pretty big deal, and as is said in the article where there's one there are like to be more. And given that In interstellar terms this is in Sol's backyard, it makes one wonder if NASA will end up dusting off old thought experiments like Project Longshot someday. The preliminary data on this planet is kind of mind blowing - an orbital period of three days and a likely surface temp of 1,200 degrees . . .