Researchers are on a quest to look for life in a nearby exoplanet which is in the "Goldilocks zone".
Space experts looking at the exoplanet said that because it sits within the "habitable zone" just outside the solar system and is just 14 light years away from us.
To explore Wolf 1061c's life-sustaining potential, the team from San Francisco State University took a closer look at the star it orbits. But while folks like Kane are analysing whether or not exoplanets are possibly habitable, other groups, like Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) are searching for signs of more advanced extraterrestrial life.
That is why Earth hosts life in our own solar system - because it is the flawless distance away from the Sun.
An artist's rendering of the exoplanet Wolf 1061c. That said, Kane said that if there's any life on the planet, it must be living under hostile conditions - similar to those of Venus - since it's on the inner edge of the habitable zone, relatively close to its star.
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According to kate, the Wolf 1061 system is the main factor to focus on, as its close and the team can study it again and again to find the existence of life. Wolf 1061b orbits close to the parent star and is therefore very hot. If a planet is located just inside the habitable zone of the star, it would succumb to a "runaway greenhouse effect", with all heat trapped inside atmosphere, just like Venus, which is believed to once had oceans that eventually evaporated. As of now most are only speculations about it, and Kane has said that more research would have to be made about the planet.
"When scientists search for planets that could sustain life, they are basically looking for a planet with almost identical properties to Earth", Kane explained. The surface temperature on Venus now reaches around 471 degrees Celsius.
"I'm not holding my breath that we'll ever find evidence of life on Wolf 1061c, but the fact that there's a roughly Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of a star so close to our own solar system is a good omen as we continue our search for life on other planets", Doug Vakoch, president METI, told Gizmodo.
But do the preliminary findings mean that exoplanet Wolf 1061c can not sustain life?
The scientists have also analyzed Wolf 1061c's dim M-dwarf star, also called the Wolf 1061. In so doing, Wolf 1061c's climate could be quite chaotic, unlike the Earth, where orbital change is gradual and can result in something like the development of an ice age over an extended period of time. Still, he cautioned that to get a better understanding of what was happening on the exoplanet surface, more research would be necessary.