Seven Brave New Worlds

Comparing the TRAPPIST-1 planets
Seven new planets on the TRAPPIST-1 Solar System. Source: NASA

Do you ever feel like one day the Earth is going to be too crowded and we would run out of resources? Is there any other habitable world out there that we could some day create a new life on? Maybe I’ve seen too much fictional movies that I somehow thought it is possible! But the real question is, where do we go to??

February 2017, NASA came out with news that surprised a lot of people. NASA’s telescope called Spitzer has discovered another solar system with seven Earth-sized planets. This has tremendously increase the opportunities of studying the possibility of life on another world. TRAPPIST-1 was named after the famous Belgium Trappist beer that the astronomers used to toast their profound discovery!

Back in 2015, TRAPPIST-1 was known to have only 2 planets. Now however, these new world was said to have 7 planets, with 3 of them orbiting their star in the habitable zone. So, scientists believe that liquid water could exist on its surface. What’s more interesting is that TRAPPIST-1 is just 40 lightyears away from us. TRAPPIST-1 is different from Earth. Its star is a cool dwarf star that is slightly larger than Jupiter yet more massive. Despite the size, the star is able to temperate its 7 terrestrial planets.

Illustration of possible surface on the TRAPPIST-1f. Source : NASA

The discovery is phenomenal, somehow, there are still some disagreements on the habitability of these planets. Some astronomers says that proposed habitable worlds must simultaneously satisfy other habitable zones concerns rather than just having the right temperature to sustain liquid water on its surface. For example, we hadn’t yet known if planets in TRAPPIST-1 receives the right amount of Ultraviolet Radiation, tidal forces and also magnetic field. Hopefully researches would tell us more about it in the future.



2 thoughts on “Seven Brave New Worlds”

  1. Such a cool discovery! It seems like discoveries of planetary systems like this might become commonplace in the near future. We are slowly realizing that there are way more exoplanets than we previously thought. Do you think that there might be life on one or more of these planets?


  2. wow this is amazing. the ‘other solar system’ must have a tremendously huge star to have a seven planets occupying its habitable zone. after studying the last chapter of the text book, i started to think that its almost impossible to find the habitable planets actually have life there. that is just my thought.i hope that astronomers will find other living species somewhere else in this universe. do you think it possible for them to do that?


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