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. But until now, scientists have never managed to detect the infrared light from the super-Earth world.