Do you often look up to the sky, scour through the big black blanket and wonder if there’s life in those sparkling dots?
If you do, then I’ve got good news for you!
Astronomers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) may have cracked the code on the mystery of the existence of life beyond Earth. The space agency discovered not one, not two, but seven almost Earth-sized planets orbiting a star.
The star, astronomers like to call an “ultracool dwarf” is about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles away from Earth! The dwarf star has also got a fancy name, Trappist-1, named after a robotic telescope.
What is so remarkable about the discovery is that all these 7 planets could have the most vital ingredient for life: water! Life may already be thriving on at three planets as they fall in the habitable zone.
Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege and the leader of the team observing the star, expressed his elation at the discovery. He said, “This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star. Amaury H.M.J Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge, is optimistic about discovering life in those planets. He remarked, “I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there.
Highlights on the 7 Planets
☛ Rocky Planets – Three of the 7 planets appear to be rocky in nature. So far, scientists found that two innermost planets of the 7 planets aren’t shrouded in hydrogen. It strongly suggests that they are Earth-like rocky. Estimates of the innermost planets’ mass also confirm that they are indeed rocky planets.
☛ Can the Planets sustain Life – There of the 7 planets are found to be at the right temperature to sustain liquid water. The surfaces of those planets may even have the correct recipe to have oceans flooding. The likelihood of finding water keeps the scientists optimistic about alien life.
☛ Dimmer and Warmer than Earth – According to scientists, the planets receive 200 times less light than Earth, as the star is relatively dim. That’s why the scientists think that the planets will be much darker. However, one may tend to think that the planets will be colder given the less exposure to light. However, the odds of experiencing much heat are greater. Since the planets receive the same heat energy as we do, they may be just as warm.
Now, should humans transport to one of those planets?
Yes, our Sun will die off eventually. It will exhaust all its fuel and explode. So, we will have to move out. Our Sun is almost 4.6 billion years old. And, the Trappist-1 is at least 500 million years old. As a result, the Trappist-1 will last 700 times longer. If we can devise such transportation and fuel system to travel, then those 3 planets should be on our top planets list.