Scientists discover 7 possibly Earth-like planets orbiting small star
Feb 23 2017
Three of these planets are within "the habitable zone", the area around a parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water, the space agency says. The two main criteria we can think of are they would have to be close enough to travel to Earth, and they would need to live on a planet that's conducive to supporting life.
NASA is poised to release major findings on "discovery beyond our solar system", sparking scientists, space buffs and conspiracy theorists to ask, could we finally have found life beyond our own planet?
"The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of 'if, ' but 'when, '" saidThomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA in a conference Wednesday. Finding Earth-size, potentially habitable planets is believed to be the first step to finding other life in the universe.
NASA is about to reveal an interesting discovery they made beyond our solar system!
"The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 are the first Earth-size planets that have been orbiting this kind of star", explained Michael Gillon, lead author of the study, which was published in Nature.
Are you interested in checking out TRAPPIST-1 from your phone or desk? At the center of all this, quite literally, is something called TRAPPIST-1. The system's star is much smaller than Earth's sun, meaning liquid water could possibly survive on planets orbiting very close to it.
TRAPPIST-1 is 235 trillion miles away from Earth
Dr Copperwheat said: "As a robotic telescope and the largest in the world, the Liverpool telescope is very sensitive to the small, less-than-1 per cent dips in brightness through which the planets are discovered".
While the Hubble observes space mostly in visible light and in some near-infrared light, Spitzer is an infrared telescope.
Additionally, the planets are said to be tidally locked, also like our moon.
Astronomers will continue to study the TRAPPIST-1 system in the coming years and will conduct follow-up studies once NASA's James Webb Telescope is launched and is fully opperational.
The scientists have discovered a system consisting of 7 earth like planets, six of which are earth-like rocky worlds.