NASA claim discovery of 7 exo planets looks like Earth in a single solar systemNASA: Astronomers have identified more than 4,700 potential exoplanets in the last few decades, and you can add seven more to the list today. NASA has announced the discovery of an amazing planetary system in orbit of a nearby star consisting of seven Earth-like Planets in the habitable zone. The star known as TRAPPIST-1 is a mere 39.13 light years away. It’s much smaller and cooler than our sun, but all seven of those planets are clustered in very close, which would make for an incredible view.
|NASA announces discovery of seven Earth like exo planets in a single solar system|
TRAPPIST-1 is what’s know as an ultracool dwarf star. These objects have a temperature under 4,400 degrees Fahrenheit (2,430 degrees Celsius) and extremely low mass (for a star). TRAPPIST-1 only about 8% the mass of our sun. So, it doesn’t put out nearly as much energy, but it will remain in this state for up to 4-5 trillion years, much longer than our sun. It can still have habitable worlds if they’re orbiting close enough, and TRAPPIST-1 appears to have plenty of them.
Three probable planets were spotted in orbit of TRAPPIST-1 in 2016 by astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope in Chile. This was exciting enough to warrant a quick follow up by the Spitzer Space Telescope — TRAPPIST-1’s small size and low temperature was ideal for study with Spitzer’s infrared instruments. Using this telescope, astronomers were able to monitor for the transit of the planets in front of TRAPPIST-1. These transits happen frequently as the planets are all in very close orbits. Spitzer was used to confirm two of the planets, but it found that one of the previously identified objects was actually three different planets in similar orbits. It also picked out two previously undetected planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system for a total of seven. If you were on one of these planets, the other planets in the solar system would appear larger in the sky at times than the moon appears from Earth (see above for an artist’s rendering). Read More.....