Nasa Discovery of New Solar System
Recently, 7 new Earth-sized exoplanets have been discovered in another far away solar system about 235 trillion miles or 40 light years away that has excited scientists everywhere. With the help of the Liverpool Telescope located in the Canary Islands, these planets have been found orbiting an ultra cool dwarf star called the TRAPPIST-1.
But What’s The Fuss?
Why are scientists so excited about this discovery? After all, we’re finding new things all the time. Well, it’s actually the first time in history that such a large amount of Earth-sized planets have been found orbiting around one star.
Could We Live There?
All planets could potentially have water which is vital for supporting life, but so far three are considered habitable for humans. In addition to this, they are considered warm enough for life. With TRAPPIST-1 only being a little larger than Jupiter, the star shines with a faint light 2000 times weaker than our sun. While the planets may have Earth like dimensions, their sizes range from 25% smaller to 10% bigger.
The fifth planet from TRAPPIST-1 is thought to be the most habitable, and star would appear 10 times the size of our own sun, showing how closely huddled the planets are to their star. For the innermost planet in this solar system, it takes a mere one and a half days for it to make a full trip around its star. For the outermost planet, it takes only around twenty days.
The planets are extremely close to each other, so close that if you were standing on one, you would be able to see features like mountains on the next.
Is There Life Already There?
This is a huge opportunity for scientists, as other forms of life could easily be discovered. This thrilling discovery has raised hopes that the search for alien life beyond our solar system could start sooner than planned, especially with a new generation of technology and telescopes due to be used within the next decade.
Should We Get Ahead Of Ourselves?
Maybe not. Yes, The Hubble Telescope has detected methane and water on the planet but that does not confirm other life. Already, astronomers are delving deeper into whether the planets have atmospheres. It would mean that life could be forming on the surfaces below.
To get a closer look, more complex and realistic bodies might be spotted by a Nasa Telescope which will help us determine more ideas about the planets.
What Does This All Mean?
Astronomers are excited and so is everyone here on Earth. It is not just a massive breakthrough, but a chance for all of human-kind to explore the depths of our universe.
This is a truly essential discovery, among many others. This is because these planets are different to other findings in many ways, as well as having the huge question about the possibility of life.
Zainab and Mahriya