Astronomers have discovered a record seven Earth-sized planets revolving a single star. Consider a “seven planet solar system” like our own, it’s just incredible. The size and mass data together made the people to compute the planets’ densities, with the fact the inner six are rocky.
Astronomers have detected other seven-planet systems before, but having so many Earth-sized worlds, it’s for the first time. These planets revolve at the right distance to have liquid water on their surfaces in some way.
The system is near to Earth, that’s why astronomers can analyze the planets’ atmospheres comparatively easily. That could explain an amazing diversity of worlds, ranging in structure from rocky to icy.
“This system is going to be one of the best laboratories, we have for understanding the evolution of small planets,” says Zachory Berta-Thompson who is an astronomer at the Colorado Boulder University.
The planets were discovered using a combination of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescope, which is sensitive to the infrared wavelengths where the tiny star, called TRAPPIST-1, shines brightest.The star’s dimness led to the discoveries of these planets.
Which planets are best suited for life?
The three planets nearest to the star might endure the same type of runaway greenhouse gas effect that has made Venus a superheated, hellish wasteland, but their situations might be a little better than on our closest planetary neighbor – the astronomers consider there would be partially a few regions where liquid water could avail. There is no surety yet how much water majority have, if any. The key component they will be looking for is water vapor.
Two months ago, NASA declared it had found carbon-based organic material, similar to what may have been the building blocks for life on Earth, on Ceres, a dwarf planet situated between Jupiter and Mars. This is because the planets have “resonant orbits” leading to a tidal pull that changes their interiors and adds heat also and the planets already have heat produced internally by radioactive elements decay contained within the rock. Earlier, we know that the planets could be great candidates, as they have the size of the Earth and are temperate.
We will hear a lot about this planetary system in the coming years and decade to come.