SEVEN Earth-Sized Planets Identified Orbiting a Dwarf Star Only 40 LY Away!

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    SEVEN Earth-Sized Planets Identified Orbiting a Dwarf Star Only 40 LY Away!

    Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside of the solar system.

    The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.

    One or more of the exoplanets in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.

    “This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star,” said Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium and the leader of an international team that has been observing Trappist-1.

    They could even discover convincing evidence of aliens.

    “I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there,” said Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in England and another member of the research team. “Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that we have on Earth, then we will know.”

    The findings appeared Wednesday in the journal Nature.


    7 Earth-Size Planets Identified in Orbit Around a Dwarf Star
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    plantmanky's Avatar
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    Sweet I hope they come say hi one day.

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    True blue (and gold)'s Avatar
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    My astronomy class watched the live press conference today. We just finished our "Life in the Universe" unit. NASA asked for questions via Twitter and my kiddos asked some awesome ones. This is cool. Can't wait to find out more about these exoplanets...and the 4000 other exoplanets we've discovered.

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    Road trip!

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    But do they each have a moon that is perfectly placed to stabilize their tilt and rotation?

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    Let's hope they're more like Vulcans than Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Schue View Post
    Let's hope they're more like Vulcans than Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans.
    Exactly! Especially those Cardashians!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Schue View Post
    Let's hope they're more like Vulcans than Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans.
    Or a bunch of Rylans led by Xur

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    Quote Originally Posted by Science Friction View Post

    The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.
    I love that phrase; it really underscores just how big the universe is.

    With today's technology, it would take hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions) to reach that destination. Fascinating!

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