Wolf 1061

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Wolf 1061
Planets Under a Red Sun.jpg
Artist's impression of exoplanets orbiting a red dwarf.[1]
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Ophiuchus
Right ascension 16h 30m 18.05803s[2]
Declination –12° 39′ 45.3232″[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.10[3]
Spectral type M3V
U−B color index +1.20[3]
B−V color index +1.60[3]
Variable type BY Draconis[4]
Radial velocity (Rv) –21.22[5] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: –94.81[2] mas/yr
Dec.: –1183.43 mas/yr
Parallax (π) 232.98 ± 1.60[2] mas
Distance 14.00 ± 0.10 ly
(4.29 ± 0.03 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) 11.96[citation needed]
Mass 0.25[6][7] M
Radius 0.26[6] R
Luminosity (bolometric) 0.0079[6] L
Luminosity (visual, LV) 0.0014 L
Temperature 3,380 ± 20[7] K
Metallicity [Fe/H] –0.02 ± 0.17[7] dex
Other designations
BD -12°4523, G 153-058, GCTP 3746.00, GJ 628, HIP 80824, LHS 419, Vys 164.
Database references

Wolf 1061 (also known as HIP 80824 and V2306 Ophiuchi) is an M class red dwarf star located about 13.8 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. It is the 36th closest known star system to the Sun and has a relatively high proper motion of 1.2 seconds of arc per year. Like many red dwarfs, it most likely has a long rotation period of more than 100 days, although it is difficult to measure accurately. Wolf 1061 is very stable and most likely does not have any significant activity such as sunspots or flares.[8] It also does not have any unusual spectroscopic features.[9] The star was first cataloged in 1919 by German astronomer Max Wolf when he published a list of dim stars that had high proper motions. Wolf 1061's name originates from this list.[10]

Planetary system[edit]

Orbits of the triple exoplanet system Wolf 1061 compared to the system's Habitable Zone (green).

In December 2015, a team of astronomers from the University of New South Wales announced the discovery of three planets orbiting Wolf 1061. The planets were detected by analyzing 10 years of observations of the Wolf 1061 system by the HARPS spectrograph at La Silla Observatory in Chile. The team used archive radial velocity measurements of the star's spectrum in the HARPS data and, along with 8 years of photometry from the All Sky Automated Survey, discovered two definite planets with orbital periods of around 4.9 and 17.9 days and a very likely third with a period of 67.3 days.[9]

All three planets have masses low enough that they are likely to be rocky planets similar to the inner planets of the Solar System although their actual sizes and densities are currently unknown. However, this information could be determined if the planets happen to transit in front of Wolf 1061 when viewed from Earth. Because all three planets orbit close to the star and have short orbital periods, there is a chance that this will occur. The University of New South Wales team estimated the chances of a transit at around 14% for planet b, 6% for planet c, and 3% for planet d.[9]

One of the planets, Wolf 1061 c, is a super-Earth located near the inner edge of the star's habitable zone, which extends from approximately 0.073 to 0.190 AU.[11] It is the closest known potentially habitable planet to Earth after Proxima b.[12][13][14] The next planet out, Wolf 1061 d, could be marginally habitable depending on its atmosphere's composition as it orbits just beyond the habitable zone.[9]

The Wolf 1061 planetary system[9]
(in order from star)
Mass Semimajor axis
Orbital period
Eccentricity Inclination Radius
b ≥1.36 ± 0.23 M 0.035509 ± 0.000007 4.8876 ± 0.0014 unknown 1.44 (estimated) R
c ≥4.25 ± 0.37 M 0.08427 ± 0.00004 17.867 ± 0.011 0.19 ± 0.13 1.64 (estimated) R
d ≥5.21 ± 0.68 M 0.2039 ± 0.0002 67.27 ± 0.12 0.32 ± 0.16 2.04 (estimated) R

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Astronomers discover closest potentially habitable planet: Wolf 1061c". ScienceAlert.com. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d van Leeuwen, F. (2007), "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 474 (2): 653–664, arXiv:0708.1752free to read, Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357. 
  3. ^ a b c Mermilliod, J.-C. (1986), "Compilation of Eggen's UBV data, transformed to UBV (unpublished)", Catalogue of Eggen's UBV data. SIMBAD, Bibcode:1986EgUBV........0M. 
  4. ^ Wolf 1961 at SIMBAD
  5. ^ Nidever, David L.; et al. (August 2002), "Radial Velocities for 889 Late-Type Stars", The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 141 (2): 503–522, arXiv:astro-ph/0112477free to read, Bibcode:2002ApJS..141..503N, doi:10.1086/340570. 
  6. ^ a b c Wright, D.J; Wittenmyer, R.A.; Bentley, C.G.; Riedel, J.S.; Jinglin, Zhao (17 December 2015). "Three planets orbiting Wolf 1061". arXiv:1512.05154v1free to read [astro-ph.EP]. 
  7. ^ a b c Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara; et al. (April 2012). "Metallicity and Temperature Indicators in M Dwarf K-band Spectra: Testing New and Updated Calibrations with Observations of 133 Solar Neighborhood M Dwarfs". The Astrophysical Journal. 748 (2): 93. arXiv:1112.4567free to read. Bibcode:2012ApJ...748...93R. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/748/2/93. 
  8. ^ Despite this, it has the variable star designation V2306 Oph and has been identified in the past as a BY Draconis variable with a magnitude range of 10.05−10.10. See: Samus, N. N.; et al., General Catalogue of Variable Stars (2007−2015), retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Three planets orbiting Wolf 1061" (PDF). Newt.phys.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Wolf, M. (June 1919). "Katalog von 1053 staerker bewegten Fixsternen (Catalog of 1053 moving fixed stars)". Veroeffentlichungen der Badischen Sternwarte zu Heidelberg (in German). 7 (10): 195–219. Bibcode:1919VeHei...7..195W. 
  11. ^ "Stellar habitable zone calculator". University of Washington. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Davison, Cassy L.; White, Russel J.; Henry, Todd J.; Riedel, Adric R.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Bailey III, John I.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Justin R., Cantrell; John P., Subasavage; Jen G., Winters (2015). "A 3D Search for Companions to 12 Nearby M-Dwarfs". arXiv:1501.05012free to read [astro-ph.SR]. 
  13. ^ Sarah Griffiths (17 December 2015). "'Super-Earth' is spotted just 14 light years away: Wolf 1061c is the closest 'habitable' planet outside our solar system ever found". Daily Mail. 
  14. ^ Stuart Gary (17 December 2015). "Potentially habitable super-Earth discovered orbiting star 14 light years from Earth". ABC News (Australia). 

External links[edit]