A team of scientists led by Diana Kossakowski from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany have found a new exoplanet with the potential for harboring life. The planet, Wolf 1069b, is nearly the size of Earth and lies in the habitable zone around its star, making it a promising candidate for supporting life.
Newly Discovered Earth like Planets Could be the Key to Finding Habitable Worlds
Aliens may be a distant possibility but that has not stopped scientists from searching for signs of life and potentially habitable exoplanets in the vast expanse of space. Their efforts have been rewarded with the discovery of Wolf 1069b, a planet almost the size of Earth and located in the habitable zone around its star.
The habitable zone refers to the distance from a star at which water can exist in liquid form, meaning that temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold. In our Solar System, Earth lies perfectly within the habitable zone. Wolf 1069b is 1.36 times larger than Earth and orbits its star within 15.6 days at a distance equivalent to one-fifteenth of the separation between Earth and the Sun.
The star around which Wolf 1069b revolves is a red dwarf, a category of stars typically less hot than the Sun. Although the planet is much closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun, its location in the habitable zone makes it a promising candidate for supporting life.
“When we analyzed the data of the star Wolf 1069, we discovered a clear, low-amplitude signal of what appears to be a planet of roughly Earth mass,” says Kossakowski. “It’s an exciting discovery and a reminder of the potential for finding other exoplanets in our galaxy.”