Earth may have a twin orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors, a new study suggests.

By Andrea Thompson

March 11, FoxNews

University of California, Santa Cruz graduate student Javiera Guedes used computer simulations of planet formation to show that terrestrial planets are likely to have formed around one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri star system, our closest stellar neighbors.

Guedes' model showed planets forming around the star Alpha Centauri B (its sister star, Proxima Centauri, is actually our nearest neighbor) in what is called the "habitable zone," or the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.

The model also showed that if such planets do in fact exist, we should be able to see them with a dedicated telescope.

"If they exist, we can observe them," Guedes said.

Guedes' study has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

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photo: An artist's conception of an Earth-like planet around another star (NASA/H. Richer, U. British Columbia)