Earth-like planet that supports life could be circling Sun's nearest neighbour
"I think the planets are there, and it's worth a try to have a look," said Professor Gregory Laughlin, one of the scientists from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Most of the more than 200 planets already discovered orbiting stars other than the Sun have been huge gas giants, similar to Jupiter.
Confirming the presence of small, Earth-like rocky planets around one of the Alpha Centauri stars will not be easy. Prof Laughlin said it would probably require five years of observation using a dedicated telescope.