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MSN: Wolf 1061c: Astronomers spot nearest planets capable of supporting life ever seen


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Wolf 1061c: Astronomers spot nearest planets capable of supporting life ever seen





Astronomers have spotted a planet that is the closest potentially habitable world humanity has ever seen.

The planet is four times as big as Earth and sits perfectly within the “Goldilocks zone” that would make it able to support life. Astronomers look for worlds that that sit in that perfect region, where it is not too hot or cold to support liquid water.

It is one of the first times that astronomers have spotted a planet near to us that has the kind of rocky, solid surface that is thought to be necessary for alien life.

"It is a particularly exciting find because all three planets are of low enough mass to be potentially rocky and have a solid surface, and the middle planet, Wolf 1061c, sits within the 'Goldilocks' zone where it might be possible for liquid water — and maybe even life — to exist," said lead study author Dr Duncan Wright in a statement.


More at link.



Pretty darn cool. It could be Pandora!

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I'm thoroughly convinced we're going to find another Earth in my lifetime. The probability factor just makes this inevitable. 14 light-years away ain't that bad either.

Actually excited them saying they found 3 rocky bodies in the inner part of that solar system, so we're also getting closer to finding a system similar to our own. Keep in mind, at the early history its believed that both Venus and Mars were possibly capable of supporting life as well. We just had the right ingredients (core kept spinning and right distance from the sun) to keep our oceans.

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The fact that we're finding more and more planets like this closer and closer, is awesome.


I hope we don't screw things up and can actually get out there.  Imagine how many terraforming options there must be within 100 light years considering we're not even checking all that many from what I can tell.  Scoot out to 1,000 light years and there must be a literal ton.  Probably way more.


That does raise some interesting questions about intelligent life being out there, or the technological limitations in this universe, but we can worry about hacking physics to allow us to take weekend vacations 1,000 light years away later.

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I wouldn't be shocked by space mayflower-like events in the future, though you gotta expect several colossal failures even if somehow they get the proper resources to pull it off (history repeating itself).

Definitely don't wanna be an early adopter on that deal unless earth is really about to go kerplooey. OTOH if that were to be the case, the unwashed masses wouldn't have a shot at it anyway. I recently read a novel, Seveneves about this scenario.
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