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Habitable Planet Reality Check: The Nearby GJ 1061

21 Aug 2019, 12:39 UTC
Habitable Planet Reality Check: The Nearby GJ 1061
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The year 2019 is proving to be a fruitful one for the discovery of exoplanets orbiting nearby stars especially our smallest neighbors, red dwarfs. On August 13, 2019 a preprint of a paper submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society with Stefan Dreizler (University of Göttingen) as the lead author announced the discovery of a trio of exoplanets orbiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1061 just a dozen light years away. Most exciting of all, one of these three newly discovered worlds seems to orbit inside comfortably inside the habitable zone (HZ) of this star prompting much interest from astronomers as well as groups who are looking for targets for future interstellar missions, not to mention exoplanet enthusiasts around the world. So, what are the prospects for the potential habitability of these new exoplanets given what we now know about them and planetary habitability?

Background
GJ 1061 is a V magnitude 13.1 red dwarf located in the southern constellation of Horologium – the Pendulum Clock. The star was first cataloged by the Dutch-American astronomer Willem Jacob Luyten (1899-1994) and appeared with the number L 372-58 in his Proper Motion Survey with the forty-eight ...

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