I think it’s everybody’s dream to float in space and every scientist’s dream to land on a habitable planet besides earth. Scientists have now established stations on the moon and research picks up every year with new discoveries. Majorly, people can only see stars at night and other exoplanets. Now, astronomers have discovered the closest exoplanet that might support life.
The astronomers are calling it super earth and it’s orbiting a red star called Wolf 1061 that’s just 14 light-years away.
“While a few other planets have been found that orbit stars closer to us than Wolf 1061, those planets are not considered to be remotely habitable,” said Duncan Wright, of the University of New South Wales in Australia. Wright is lead author of a study on the discovery that will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Cnet reports, the planet is dubbed Wolf 1061c and it’s in the middle. According Wright, the planet orbits the habitable Goldilocks zone where temperatures are not too hot and not too cold but just right for liquid water, making life as we know it theoretically possible.
“It is fascinating to look out at the vastness of space and think a star so very close to us — a near neighbor — could host a habitable planet,” Wright said.
Surprisingly, it would take scientists approximately 14 years to reach Wolf 1061c and the means of transport must be relatively fast to accomplish the mission. Currently, the world doesn’t have a machine that can hit the required speed, so researchers have to invent something that will be used.
Other habitable planets have been discovered but this particular one is closer to our solar system. A good example is the Gliese 667 Cc, which sits 22 light-years away.
The scientists believe the planet is rocky and its sun is dimmer than ours. Ideally, the future generation should have the ability to reach this place and probably start mining the stones.
The UNSW team says it hopes to study the atmosphere of the planet in the future to see if it might be conducive to life. It could also make an excellent candidate for observation by the next generation of powerful telescopes, starting with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope, both set to launch in the next two to three years.
Scientists are trying to research on a habitable planet besides earth that can at least support life. The planet has to be closer to earth to reduce on expenditure.