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Trappist-1 planets are likely to be habitable


Posted on Monday, 5 February, 2018 | Comment icon 10 comments

Could there be alien life within the Trappist-1 system ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
It is looking increasingly likely that the Trappist-1 system's seven worlds could be home to alien life.
Back in February 2017, NASA scientists announced the discovery of seven extrasolar planets in orbit around Trappist-1, a star situated approximately 40 light years away from the Earth.

It was the first time that such a large number of Earth-sized worlds had ever been found within a single solar system and there appeared to be a good chance that at least one of them could be habitable.

Unsurprisingly, scientists have been attempting to learn more about the Trappist-1 system ever since and now four new studies have been published revealing what they have found.

Produced in collaboration with University of Birmingham astronomer Dr Amaury Triaud, the research sought to refine what we know about the star itself as well as the mass and radii of its planets.

The researchers discovered that all seven of these extrasolar worlds are made of rock with up to 5 percent of their mass being water - a sizable amount compared to the Earth's 0.02 percent.

All seven of them are also thought to be temperate, meaning liquid water could exist on their surfaces.

The race is now on to determine which of the planets is the most likely to support life.

"After discovering this incredible planetary system our team was extremely eager to know more about Trappist-1," said Dr Triaud. "A year on, we are reporting our results. Thanks to our efforts the Trappist-1 planets are becoming the best studied worlds outside the Solar system."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (10)

Tags: Trappist, Exoplanets

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by godnodog on 5 February, 2018, 19:07
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 5 February, 2018, 19:25
If we find life, it may not be as advanced as ours. Either that or they have been ignoring our signals and hope we'll just go away..  Either way, a very amazing and interesting situation.
Comment icon #3 Posted by khol on 5 February, 2018, 19:48
Computers must have hugely revolutionized astronomy. Researchers being able to use programs to extract information at a fraction of the time. Or access information that was previouslyl unobtainable.  Trappist 1 sounds like an intriguing system. It will be interesting to see what we find there with future more powerful telescopes.    
Comment icon #4 Posted by seanjo on 5 February, 2018, 22:46
Minshara Class.....is what I wish they'd called them...  
Comment icon #5 Posted by Noawareness on 6 February, 2018, 0:43
Would it be more weird if we went there and it was populated with weird alien creatures or if we went there and there were like dogs and cats?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Torchwood on 6 February, 2018, 8:50
It'll be both :  convergent evolution has demonstrated that alien life is likely to be at once very different, and hauntingly familiar, eg, the lifeforms there may be silicon based rather than carbon...but the fish will still be shaped like fishes!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 February, 2018, 13:01
I agree with most of what you say except the silicon based part. Silicon simply does not easily (if at all) form the complex molecules needed for life. Carbon is more common in the universe than silicon. There are vastly more types of organic molecules in the universe than inorganic and organic molecules can be vastly more complex. Basic chemistry, alas, suggests silicon based life is more abundant in science-fiction than it is in reality.
Comment icon #8 Posted by aearluin on 6 February, 2018, 18:29
Very cool. Things are looking up for the confirmation of life outside our tiny little corner of the universe. Unfortunatelly, the Trappist system is not around the corner so we wont be able to go and see it with our eyes (or digital cameras in unmaned probes), but I'm sure we'll be able to detect the chemicsl finger prints of life soon. This of course says nothing about the occurrance of inteligent life. Is there someone smart out there (meaning here something with the same kind of smartness we have)?   Eagerly waiting for the next episodes!!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 February, 2018, 18:37
At only 40 light years distant it is as close to around the corner as you are going to get, cosmically speaking.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Torchwood on 6 February, 2018, 22:08
it was just an example  of an alternative, suffice to say that any alien life will do everything earth life can do, it'll just do it with a different molecule.   Though I do recall reading a theory that suggested earth-life might have started off with a bit of help from silicates as they replicate more readily than carbon or something- carbon hitching a lift...


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