Sci-tech

NASA reveals extraordinary discovery of alien solar system

The colorful doodle, which was crafted by Nate Swinehart, graced the home page one day after NASA announced the discovery of seven exoplanets some 40 light-years away, part of what scientists have named the TRAPPIST-1 system ― after the TRAPPIST telescope that found them.

"All of these seven planets could have liquid water - key to life as we know it - under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone", NASA said in a press release. Out of these seven planets, three are located in the habitable zone and one of the planets around the parent star is also likely to possess liquid water. Finding Earth-size, potentially habitable planets is believed to be the first step to finding other life in the universe.

Scientists are trying to find as many exoplanets as possible.

Trappist Telescope in Chile in 2016, six of the planets are in the "temperate zone" with temperature between 0 and 100 degree Celsius.

Researchers said the proximity of the system and the large size of its planets proportional to its small star, makes it a good target for follow-up studies.

A robotic telescope operated by Liverpool John Moores University played a major role in the discovery, first reported in the journal Nature. "Fortunately, it seems that this kind of compact configuration is just what we see around TRAPPIST-1". Scientists say they need to study the atmospheres before determining whether these planets could support some type of life. Dwarf stars like TRAPPIST-1 are common in our Milky Way galaxy.

NASA also noted that the planets may be locked into the star, meaning one side of the planet will always be in daylight, and the other side in permanent night.

"With the upcoming generation of telescopes, such as ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, we will soon be able to search for water and perhaps even evidence of life on these worlds".

The TRAPPIST-1's planets are similar to the inner solar system around Earth's sun, Demory's analysis of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope showed. The Hubble launched in 1990 and has produced observations used in more than 14,000 scientific papers.



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