NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

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NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Disembodied » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:10 pm

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... ets-around
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:21 pm

All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits are closer to their host star than Mercury is to our sun. The planets also are very close to each other.
That's a crowded system! An ultra-cool dwarf, eh?
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Disembodied » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:28 pm

Cody wrote:An ultra-cool dwarf, eh?
That could mean the system is very, very old, compared to our own … it could also mean that the planets in the habitable zone are tidally locked.

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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:31 pm

<nods>
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by spud42 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:57 am

read this earlier today. they highlight Trappist-1 d with a 3d model. you would be able to see 2 or 3 of the other planets at night!
only problem i see is the year is only 18.2 days!! thats some speedy planet.
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by tsoj » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:37 pm

the problem for possible life is that theyre most likely tidally locked which can causes extreme temperatures and so extreme wind.

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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by spud42 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:10 am

i read that as well, but didnt they recently find that Mercury is not tidally locked? so there is a chance these are not.
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Disembodied » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:55 am

spud42 wrote:i read that as well, but didnt they recently find that Mercury is not tidally locked? so there is a chance these are not.
True, but Mercury is six times farther from the sun than the outermost planet is from Trappist-1. Then again, Trappist-1 is a lot less dense than our sun. The only way we'll know for sure is if we go there and find out!

In the meantime, the Trappist-1 system has a website of its own:
http://www.trappist.one

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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:30 pm

More news on this system at El Reg.
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Disembodied » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:52 pm

It might be possible to warm one of the snowballs up a bit, with one of these - a prototype engine using the Leidenfrost effect on frozen CO2 to power an engine:

https://www.eng.ed.ac.uk/about/news/201 ... -life-mars

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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:08 pm

Energy from dry ice? Interesting!
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:11 pm

Boffins now reckon they're probably a bunch of water worlds.
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Malacandra » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:30 am

And when they say "water worlds" they mean literal globes of water with a solid core. Earth's proportion of water is about what you'd get if you picked a pool ball out of a bucket of water (a couple of miles depth on a 4000-mile radius is almost literally just a film of water, in planetary terms).
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Cody » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:29 am

<nods> Yep, not a lot of water on planet Earth.
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Re: NASA finds seven Earth-sized planets around a single star

Post by Malacandra » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:47 pm

Indeed. Trouble with all that water is you need some dissolved solids as well to make bio-compounds out of, I think - you can't get very far with just water and a reducing atmosphere. And possibly some shallows for the reactions to occur in.
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