Another double of the Earth, called Wolf 1069 b, has been discovered 31 light-years away from us, in the direction of the constellation Cygnus: it could be habitable, despite having one face perpetually illuminated and one face perpetually dark, just like the Moon .
The new planet thus ranks sixth, by distance from us, among those with potentially habitable land mass, and was identified thanks to the Carmenes project, active since 2016, which uses the Calar Alto observatory in Spain precisely in search of planets located in the habitable zones of their stars.
The discovery was made by a group of researchers led by Diana Kossakowski of the German Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, who published it in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Wolf 1069 b has a mass just above that of the Earth and an orbit that lasts about 15 days: it is therefore very close to its star, the red dwarf Wolf 1069, but despite this it receives only about 65% of the energy that it Earth gets from the Sun. This is because the red dwarf is much weaker and colder than our Sun: the average temperature calculated for the planet, in fact, is around -23 degrees, which suggests that it is a rocky body.
If it also had an atmosphere, the study authors estimated that the temperature could rise up to 13 degrees, allowing liquid water to exist in a large region of the side facing the star.
Another feature that favors the habitability of Wolf 1069 b is the apparent tranquility of the star around which it orbits.
Red dwarfs are usually known to be very active and turbulent, causing massive stellar winds and intense radiation that render planets barren.
Wolf 1069, on the other hand, appears placid, although it's probably too early to tell for sure.
The new Earth doppelganger then sets out to become a promising candidate for more extensive research.