Nearest Rocky Exoplanet to Our Solar System Discovered

Using Galileo National Telescope in the Canary Islands, scientists have found nearest rocky exoplanet outside our solar system. The exoplanet is just 21 light years away from earth and orbits another star.

Though it is quite near to earth, it cannot be seen from the planet with naked eyes. The experts said the star it orbits can be seen. The exoplanet has been named HD 219134b and its star has been named as HD 219134. It appears quite close to the constellation Cassiopeia.

It was first discovered by Galileo National Telescope and its follow-up observations were made by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA said its proximity to earth does not mean that it can support life.

Michael Werner, project scientist for the Spitzer mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said this planet will be studied in detail and will become one of the most studied for many years to come.

One of the reasons with researchers to study this planet is that the world transits its stars meaning that the exoplanet passes in front of its star. It will allow scientists to use tools on the ground and space to characterize it.

"Now we have a local specimen to study in greater detail. It can be considered a kind of Rosetta Stone for the study of super-Earths", affirmed Michael Gillon, one of the researchers involved in the discovery.