Researchers have discovered 15 new planets around cool stars known as red dwarfs, and one of those planets might be able to host liquid water on its surface.
In a new study, the researchers combined space telescope data with follow-up ground investigation to observe several red dwarfs, which are dim stars that weigh 7.5 to 50 percent the mass of the sun.
The team spotted three exoplanets, each slightly larger than Earth, around red dwarf star K2-155, located 200 light-years away. The outermost planet of the system was a particularly interesting finding, as it had a radius about 1.6 times that of
Earth and may be within this star's habitable zone, the researchers said.
A star's habitable zone is the region where orbiting planets could be the right temperature to retain liquid water.
The team used observations from the NASA Kepler spacecraft's second mission, K2, and ground-based telescopes such as the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii and the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) in Spain to gather data on the 15 exoplanets, according to a recent statement about the research. To determine if K2-155's outermost planet, K2-155d, could have water on its surface, the team modeled what's known about this world in a three-dimensional climate simulation.