Seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been spotted orbiting a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, which is located at 39 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. According to NASA, all seven could potentially support liquid water, on the surface, but only three represent the “holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers,” because they are within the “habitable zone” where surface temperature could support the presence of liquid water and life might possibly exist.
“The planets are all close to each other and very close to the star, which is very reminiscent of the moons around Jupiter,” Michaël Gillon, lead author of the study, told the BBC. “Still, the star is so small and cold that the seven planets are temperate, which means that they could have some liquid water – and maybe life, by extension – on the surface.”
The discovery of these seven earth-sized exoplanets has been made possible by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Spitzer observed Trappist-1 for 21 days, capturing 34 transits. And with data from several other ground-based observatories, it revealed a total of seven planets. The findings are reported in the journal Nature.
- Source(s): BBC, The New York Times
- Reference: Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 – Nature
Your blogs are interesting! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks! Your blog link appears to be broken from here. 🙂
it’s just amazing to know about this in our lifetime.
This is very exciting news about the new planets. Looking forward to future news about life on other planets.
That Spitzer space telescope must be doing similar overall energy output measurements on a chosen star, that Kepler was doing, and last I heard Kepler had some mechanical troubles.
Awesome potential discovery, and in some respects, Jupiter and its moons possess usefully similar mass characteristics of this star and its orbital bodies.