Written by Ranee Mohamed
21 Dec, 2015 | 6:55 am
Alien life could be closer to us than previously thought. Scientists have just discovered the nearest habitable planet to Earth.
The new world is one of three surrounding a red dwarf star called Wolf 1061, which is just 14 light years away. It was detected by scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia.
All three planets have the potential to be solid and rocky, but only Wolf 1061c exists within the “Goldilocks zone” — a distance from the star (much smaller and cooler than our sun) that is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water.
“This rare discovery is incredibly exciting,” UNSW’s Duncan Wright, who led the study, told CNN.
“Other planets found that are habitable are not nearly this close to Earth. Because of the close proximity of this planet to us, there is good opportunity to find out more about it.”
“The close proximity of the planets around Wolf 1061 means there is a good chance these planets may pass across the face of the star,” UNSW team member Rob Wittenmyer said in an earlier statement.
“If they do, then it may be possible to study the atmospheres of these planets in future to see whether they would be conducive to life.”
NASA has confirmed more than 1,870 exoplanets — worlds outside our solar system. But this discovery is particularly important because Wolf 1061c is both habitable and close to our solar system.
Planets that exist within a Goldilocks zone have the potential to host intelligent life. But Wright does not think that human life could exist on Wolf 1061c.
However, Wright added that there may be a “twilight zone” that partially faces the star, where life is possible and humans could “plausibly,” but not comfortably, survive.
The planet has been described as a “Super-Earth” because its mass is more than four times the mass of the Earth and it could have a rocky surface.
But this discovery is only the beginning of nearby habitable worlds.
Many other potentially habitable planets exist in our galaxy that we have not located yet.
12 Dec, 2019 | 07:05 AM
11 Dec, 2019 | 11:29 PM
Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]