Seven Earth-like planets have been found orbiting a sun not too far — in space terms, at least — from our own.
Wednesday that the planets resemble Earth in composition and spacing
from their star, which means their conditions might be favorable to
liquid water and life, Time reported.
“The planets form a very compact system,” Michaël Gillon of
Belgium’s University of Liège, said in a
teleconference, according to Time. “They are very close to their
star and are reminiscent of the system of moons that orbit Jupiter. They
could have liquid water and life.”
Astronomers studied the star, Trappist-1 — which, at 39
light years away from Earth, is considered a relative neighbor — for six
years, using telescopes located all over the world, plus the Spitzer
Space Telescope. Read more (2/22/17 2:04 PM)
A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.
The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.
The strange planetary system is quite compact, with all of these worlds orbiting their star closer than Mercury orbits the sun, according to a newly published report in Nature.
“If you were on the surface of one of these planets, you would see the other ones as we see the moon, or a bit smaller,” says Michaël Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium. “The view would be very impressive.”
Nasa is currently livestreaming a conference about the discovery of a new solar system !
“Astronomers have detected no less than seven Earth-sized worlds orbiting a cool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1.The six inner planets lie in a temperate zone where surface temperatures range from zero to 100C.
Of these, at least three are thought to be capable of having oceans, increasing the likelihood of life.
No other star system known contains such a large number of Earth-sized and probably rocky planets.”