On the other hand, Planets orbiting older stars have survived the spate of youthful flares, but have also been exposed to the ravages of stellar radiation for a longer period of time.
This means the planets had to evolve together, otherwise the system would have fallen apart long ago," said Adam Burgasser, an astronomer at the University of California, San Diego, and the paper's first author.
Given that the Trappist-1 planets have lower densities than Earth, it is possible that large reservoirs of volatile molecules such as water could produce thick atmospheres that would shield the planetary surfaces from harmful radiation.
A thick atmosphere could also help redistribute heat to the dark sides of these tidally locked planets, increasing habitable real estate.
"These new results provide useful context for future observations of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, which could give us great insight into how planetary atmospheres form and evolve, and persist or not," said Tiffany Kataria, exoplanet scientist at JPL, who was not involved in the study.
- NASA Says Trappist-1 Planetary System Is Older Than Our Own Solar SystemInternational Business Times
- How this nearby star system could be the key to finding ALIENSExpress.co.uk
- The TRAPPIST-1 star system may be too old for lifeEngadget
- The planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 may be older than Earth!SYFY WIRE (blog)
- TRAPPIST-1 could be twice the age of the Solar SystemSpaceFlight Insider
- TRAPPIST-1 is no longer the exoplanet dream we once hopedAlphr
- Spin the ultimate space jam with beats from Trappist-1SYFY WIRE (blog)
- TRAPPIST-1 twice as old as our solar systemGears Of Biz
- NASA: TRAPPIST-1's Age Could Spell Bad News For Finding Alien LifeHuffPost UK