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We took The Verge on a little trip to Proxima Centauri to look for a new exoplanet

Using Elite: Dangerous' simulation of the Milky Way to tour the latest discoveries

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Just last week the European Southern Observatory discovered what could be a new Earth-like exoplanet in our closest neighboring star system. It's orbiting a small, cool star called Proxima Centauri that's part of a three-star cluster better known as Alpha Centauri. Making it all the more exciting, it's just 4.2 light years from Earth.

The announcement caught the whole world's attention, but here at Polygon it also served to remind us of all the great games we'd played in and around the Alpha Centauri cluster. There's the great Sid Meier classic Alpha Centauri, of course, but there's also a newer spacefaring game that we've been playing for some time called Elite: Dangerous. We dialed up The Verge's science reporter Loren Grush and offered her the trip of a lifetime out to visit the star she's been covering all week.

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