NASA discovered seven nearby planets that could support life

Their Trappist telescope lent its name to this star.

Scientists are very excited about the amazingly rich discovery not least because over time they will be able to learn all about the atmospheric and surface conditions of these planets and whether any of them carry liquid water. "Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to what we have on Earth, we will know".

The diameter of TRAPPIST-ONE is about 8 per cent of the sun's size.

NASA has taken a momentous step forward in their quest to find life-sustaining planets outside our solar system, revealing the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star.

In July, the team was able to determine that two of the closest planets to the stars had atmospheres that were more compact and comparable to those of Earth, Venus and Mars by observing starlight through the planets' atmosphere.

In 2016, Gillon, along with astronomers Amaury Triaud, Emmanuël Jehin and others spotted three exoplanets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, classified as an "ultracool dwarf" star because it features surface temperatures under 4,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA announced in May that its Kepler Space Telescope found 1,284 new exoplanets, or planets, outside our solar system.

An global team of astronomers has announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized exoplanets in orbit around a nearby ultracool red dwarf star.

Other key observations were made by the TRAPPIST robotic telescope at La Silla in Chile, operated from the University of Liege, which is specifically created to search for transiting planets.

The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, was made by astronomers using the American space agency Nasa's exoplanet-hunting Spitzer Space Telescope. They noted that all seven planets could have water, but the best odds are with three in the habitable zone. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are closer to their star than Mercury is to our sun. Many potential transit indicators were detected so they needed to dismiss the false positives. However, considering the fastest man-made object, the Helios probes, attained a maximum velocity of 252,792 km/h, and assuming our probe goes with a constant velocity towards the target in a straight line, we get a travel time of t=d/v (where d=distance in light years, v=velocity as a fraction of light speed) =170,000 years.

Whether that's good or bad depends on what kind of world you are.

Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets. It is thought that the planets closest to the star are "tidally locked" to their host star due to the intense gravitational pull.

Research suggests life on Proxima b would be subject to frequent planet-wide extinction events since it's close in proximity to Proxima Centauri.

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