Astronomers Discover the potential for a habitable world 31 light years away

Astronomers have dis­cov­ered a very unusu­al Earth-sized world orbit­ing a star just 31 light-years away. Whether exo­plan­ets meet the con­di­tions nec­es­sary for the birth of life.

Although that infor­ma­tion is not yet avail­able, it is a promis­ing can­di­date world for search­ing for biosig­na­tures present in near-Earth-mass exo­plan­ets in the future.

The search for exo­plan­ets, plan­ets out­side our solar sys­tem, is ham­pered by the lim­i­ta­tions of cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy. But the main method for find­ing exo­plan­ets is bet­ter at find­ing big stars than small ones.

This is because we rely on indi­rect sig­nals from the exo­plan­et’s influ­ence on the host star. The tran­sit method is a method that detects the faint dips in starlight that occur when exo­plan­ets orbit between their stars and us.

In addi­tion, the radi­al veloc­i­ty method is a method that detects slight changes in the wave­length of light when a star moves very slight­ly in its field due to grav­i­ta­tion­al inter­ac­tions with extra­so­lar planets.

So, at the time of writ­ing this arti­cle, more than 5,200 exo­plan­ets have been iden­ti­fied, and less than 1.5% of them have a mass less than two Earths.

About a dozen of them orbit at tem­per­a­tures that are nei­ther hot enough to burn nor cold enough to freeze, but hot enough for liq­uid water to exist on their surface.

Whether or not it is in the so-called hab­it­able zone is the first step in deter­min­ing whether or not life can exist.

This is what a team of astronomers led by Diana Kosakows­ki at Ger­many’s Max Planck Insti­tute for Astronomers (MPIA) dis­cov­ered about the near­by red dwarf star Wolf 1069.

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