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7 ‘Earth-Like’ Planets Found Orbiting a Star in Another Solar System

posted: 02/22/17
by: Sasha Brown-Worsham
Trappist-1 System
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trappist-1-planet-lineup-nasa
NASA

In huge astronomy news, researchers revealed today that they have found seven Earth-size planets orbiting a tiny star not too far away. They make the most realistic case for life on other planets than we have seen in years.

The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. Though it sounds far, it is actually kind of close in terms of astronomy and the alignment is giving researchers the perfect angle to really study the atmospheres to look for signs of life.

Holy crap!

Even more: At least one of the planets appears to be the right temperature to support oceans based on its distance from the star.

"This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star," said Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium and the leader of an international team that has been observing Trappist-1, in the New York Times.

This is what we have been waiting for!

"I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there," said Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in England and another member of the research team. "Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that we have on Earth, then we will know."

So, so, so exciting. Hold on, folks!

More from Sasha Brown-Worsham

[via: The New York Times]

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