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Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It’s also the driving force behind San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane’s research into exoplanets—planets that exist outside Earth’s solar system.

As one of the world’s leading “planet hunters,” Kane focuses on finding “habitable zones,” areas where water could exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface if there’s sufficient atmospheric pressure. Kane and his team, including former undergraduate student Miranda Waters, examined the habitable zone on a planetary system 14 light years away. Their findings will appear in the next issue of Astrophysical Journal in a paper titled “Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System.”

“The Wolf 1061 system is important because it is so close and that gives other opportunities to do follow-up studies to see if it does indeed have life,” Kane said.

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SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanetAn artist’s rendering of an exoplanet is shown. An exoplanet is a planet that exists outside Earth’s solar system. Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-astronomers-life-wolf-exoplanet.html#jCp

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Click link below for article:

https://phys.org/news/2017-01-astronomers-life-wolf-exoplanet.html

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