Astronomers look for signs of life on the exoplanet Wolf 1061

Is anyone there? The question of whether humans are alone in the universe, all the worries, from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. And he worried astronomer Stephen Kane of the University of San Francisco who studies extrasolar planets - planets that are outside of our solar system. As one of the leading "hunters planets," Kane intently looking for "living area" within which there may be liquid water, if there is sufficient air pressure. Kane and his team, including his ex-student of Miranda Waters studied the potentially habitable planetary systems in the area 14 light-years away. The results of their study will be published in the next issue of Astrophysical Journal, and the subject of research was the Wolf system in 1061.

Astronomers look for signs of life on the exoplanet Wolf 1061

"1061 by Wolf system is important because it is close and provides an opportunity to conduct research for the presence of life," says Kane.

It is not just the proximity to the Earth in 1061 Wolf made it an attractive object of study for Kane and his team. One of the three known planets in this system, the solid planet Wolf 1061c, is within potentially habitable area. With the assistance of the staff of the University of Tennessee, and in Geneva, Switzerland, they were able to measure the star around which the planet rotates, and a clearer picture of the possible existence of life there. When scientists look for planets that could support life, they are mainly looking for a planet with almost identical properties of the earth, says Kane. Like the Earth, this planet should be in the sweet spot, which is also often called the "Goldilocks zone," where conditions are favorable for life. Simply put, the planet should not be too far away or too close to its star. Too close - too hot. Too far - too cold, and the water freezes as on Mars.

Conversely, when the planet heats up, heat may arise trap and get an early growing greenhouse effect. Scientists believe that this is what happened to the twin of Earth, the planet Venus. Once on Venus could be the oceans, but due to the proximity of the planet to the sun it became too hot and all the water has evaporated. Since water is excellent at trapping heat, she did surface of Venus is even hotter.

Since Wolf 1061c is located close to the inner edge obitaeomy zone, i.e. close to the star, it may be in the same situation as that of Venus. "It is quite close to the star and suspiciously similar alludes to the greenhouse effect," says Kane.

Also, the astronomer and his team noticed that unlike the Earth, which is experiencing climatic changes such as glacial period due to slow changes in its orbit around the Sun, Wolf 1061c orbit is changing much more rapidly, and hence climate there may be quite chaotic. "Probably, the planet peremerzaet much or too hot," says astronomer. Is it possible the existence of life on Wolf 1061c? One possibility is that a short period of time during which changes Wolf 1061c orbit long enough that the planet had time to cool. But a full understanding of what is happening on the planet's surface would require new studies.

In a short time in space travel space telescope James Webb Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope's successor. He would eliminate the atmospheric components of exoplanets and look at what is happening on the surface.