Astronomers have discovered a rocky exoplanet, Wolf 1069 b, with mass similar to that of Earth, orbiting at a distance from its host star where liquid water can exist on the surface. The host star is a dim red dwarf, 31.2 lightyears away in the constellation of Cygnus. The planet is tidally locked to its host star, meaning one side is exposed to perpetual daylight, and the other side is in a never-ending night. Simulations indicate that the planet can sustain an atmosphere, and if the temperature increases to over 13°C, liquid water can exist on the surface. The current generations telescopes cannot detect the atmosphere of the exoplanet, but the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) currently under construction in Chile may be able to do so in the future. A paper describing the findings has been published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Today: December 11, 2023