Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-like planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The findings were also announced at a news conference at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
This discovery outside of our solar system is rare because the planets have the winning combination of being similar in size to Earth and being all temperate, meaning they could have water on their surface and potentially support life.
The seven exoplanets were all found in tight formation around an ultracool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. Estimates of their mass also indicate that they are rocky planets, rather than being gaseous like Jupiter. Ref. CNN.
That is interesting to know that maybe there are other planets out there that we can get to and colonize. Finding out way off this rock and onto other rocks can be a great thing for our future. 40 light years is not that far away.
First hints of possible water content on TRAPPIST-1 planets. Astronomers have been trying to determine whether there might be water on the seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. The results suggest that the outer planets of the system might still harbor substantial amounts of water. This includes the three planets within the habitable zone of the star, lending further weight to the possibility that they may indeed be habitable. Source 6k.
With these planets being within the temperate zone of this star we should be able to get to them and check them out more. The fact that a few of them appear to have liquid water makes it even better for us.
TRAPPIST-1 planets probably rich in water. TRAPPIST-1 are made mostly of rock, and some could hold more water than Earth. The planets' densities suggest that some of them could have up to 5 percent of their mass in the form of water. The hotter planets closest to their parent star are likely to have dense steamy atmospheres and the more distant ones probably have icy surfaces. Source 5m.