When 581d was first discovered in 2007, many scientists regarded it as too cold to be potentially habitable. In the years since, however, atmospheric-modeling studies have suggested that the planet may indeed be able to support life as we know it — provided 581d is warmed by a greenhouse effect.
To determine if this the case, researchers will likely need to study the planet's atmosphere directly. That sort of work could be years off, since it would probably require the development of new and advanced telescopes.
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