Photos: NASA Discovers Seven Alien Worlds

Discovery
Photos: NASA Discovers Seven Alien Worlds PHOTOGRAPH: NASA/JPL-Caltech |

Astronomers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) detected seven alien worlds. These planets are roughly the size of the Earth. It is orbiting a dwarf star in the system. Previously, NASA identified a tiny number of the ‘exoplanets’ which is believed to have the requirements needed to support life. The seven planets orbit a tiny, dim star which is capable of supporting life.

New Discovery: NASA seven alien worlds

The research’s co-author, Brice-Olivier Demory, stated that the new system would probably their best bet to find life. The exoplanets circle the star called TRAPPIST-1. The solar system is about 40 light-years away from Earth. This might sound far based from the vastness of the universe, but it is very close to the Earth’s own solar system. The researchers speculated about the seven alien-world’s potential to host life. Amaury Triaud, the study’s co-author, mentioned that within a few years, they are expecting to know about the planets. Hopefully, they will find more about the planets within the decade.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt, T. Pyle (IPAC)

The TRAPPIST-1 is an ultracool dwarf star. It is slightly bigger than the planet Jupiter. However, the Earth’s sun is 2,000 times brighter than the TRAPPIST-1. Michael Gillion led the research team who stumbled upon the discovery. They originally studied the TRAPPIST-1 using the Transiting Planet and Planeteslmals Small Telescope, hence, the star is called TRAPPIST. The TRAPPIST is an instrument found at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. The TRAPPIST-1 is also known as the 2MASS J23062928-0502285.

NASA Seven Alien Worlds: Alien solar system has dimmer sun

The TRAPPIST spotted some regular dimming events. The researchers interpreted it as evidence of three different planets. The believed that it was crossing or transiting the star. In addition, the research team announced in May 2016 that there are three alien worlds. Scientists named the worlds as TRAPPIST-1b, TRAPPIST-1c and TRAPPIST-1d. These three planets are roughly the same size of Earth or Venus, possibly smaller. The researchers believe that three planets could possibly hold life or support life forms. The density measurements suggested that the six planets of the system are rocky. Since the sun or star of the system is dimmer, the planets are gently warmed.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

The star at the middle of the solar system have a temperature of 2,550K and at least 500 million years old. The Earth’s sun is 4.6 billion years old with a 5,778K temperature. The six inner planets are on a temperate zone with temperature rangin from zero to 100C.

Three of the newfound planets are promising due to the possibility that they could possibly sustain oceans. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen stated, “This gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not a matter of if, but when.”

Read the full paper on the discovery from journal Nature. Read NASA’s official press release here. See more photos from NASA.

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