Astronomers working with the Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a new planet about 33 light years away from Earth. Unlike most planets discovered outside of the solar system, this one, dubbed UCF-1.01, is actually smaller than the Earth – it’s about 2/3 the size of our planet. The astronomers’ findings are being published in the Astrophysical Journal.
“We have found strong evidence for a very small, very hot and very near planet with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope,” said Kevin Stevenson, the lead author of the paper, in a NASA press release. “Identifying nearby small planets such as UCF-1.01 may one day lead to their characterization using future instruments.”