18
   

Astronomers discover 7 Earth-like planets orbiting nearby star

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 12:37 pm
Quote:
Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-like planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, according to a study published
Wednesday in the journal Nature. The findings were also announced at a news conference at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

This discovery outside of our solar system is rare because the planets have the winning combination of being similar in size to Earth
and being all temperate, meaning they could have water on their surfaces and potentially support life.

"This is the first time that so many planets of this kind are found around the same star," said Michaël Gillon, lead study author
and astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium.
The seven exoplanets were all found in tight formation around an ultracool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. Estimates of their mass
also indicate that they are rocky planets, rather than being gaseous like Jupiter. Three planets are in the habitable zone of the
star, known as TRAPPIST-1e, f and g, and may even have oceans on the surface.

The researchers believe that TRAPPIST-1f in particular is the best candidate for supporting life. It's a bit cooler than Earth, but
could be suitable with the right atmosphere and enough greenhouse gases.

http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170221161852-trappist-1-planetary-system-exlarge-169.jpg
(cnn)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 18 • Views: 4,195 • Replies: 74

 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 12:39 pm

from the same article --
Quote:
The planets are so close to each other and the star that there are seven of them within a space five times smaller than the distance
from Mercury to our sun. This proximity allows the researchers to study the planets in depth as well, gaining insight about
planetary systems other than our own.

http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170222100643-03-trappist-1-planetary-system-exlarge-169.jpg
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 12:55 pm
@Region Philbis,
Cool. Has it been confirmed (within a reasonable doubt)? I remember another report of something around Proxima which turned out to be an error.
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 01:19 pm
@rosborne979,

i'm guessing it's the real mccoy -- NASA spent a few days promoting it as a major discovery...
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 01:24 pm
I wonder if their proximity to each other causes tides on neighboring planets.

And I bet that first one will end up being more like Venus than Earth. Still, it's neat.

I truly think we will find bacterial/viral/microscopic life in my lifetime.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 01:30 pm
There's a mother-in-law joke here somewhere...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 01:34 pm
Now they've gotta figure out how to resolve the atmospheres sufficiently to get some idea of their composition. I wonder if then new James Webb Telescope (when launched) will be able to resolve the atmospheres.
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 01:37 pm
@rosborne979,
Found this:
Quote:
JWST and Exoplanets
One of the main uses of the James Webb Space Telescope will be to study the atmospheres of exoplanets, to search for the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe. But JWST is an infrared telescope. How is this good for studying exoplanets?
One method JWST will use for studying exoplanets is the transit method, which means it will look for dimming of the light from a star as its planet passes between us and the star. (Astronomers call this a "transit".) Collaboration with ground-based telescopes can help us measure the mass of the planets, via the radial velocity technique (i.e., measuring the stellar wobble produced by the gravitational tug of a planet), and then JWST will do spectroscopy of the planet's atmosphere.
JWST will also carry coronagraphs to enable direct imaging of exoplanets near bright stars. The image of an exoplanet would just be a spot, not a grand panorama, but by studying that spot, we can learn a great deal about it. That includes its color, differences between winter and summer, vegetation, rotation, weather...How is this done? The answer again is spectroscopy.

https://jwst.nasa.gov/origins.html
I guess that answers my question. Smile
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 02:38 pm
Forty light years away. That's forty years covering the distance that light travels. Space travel is too slow, unless we find out that space has short cuts built into it.

The only good this awareness does is it changes the thinking that was prevalent only a cenury ago, that we must be the only living things in the universe. Why is that good? I could be wrong; it might not be? It might just make searching for one's soul mate that much more difficult.
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 02:42 pm
@Foofie,
I think it's important to know this stuff, even if we can't actually set foot on the planet.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 03:13 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

I think it's important to know this stuff, even if we can't actually set foot on the planet.


You are entitled to your opinion.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 05:03 pm
@Region Philbis,
In fact reggie speculation has it, there are more planets than stars. Hence the chance of a few (millions, billions) being inhabited by the humanoid is almost certain
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 09:03 pm
@Region Philbis,
Region Philbis wrote:

i'm guessing it's the real mccoy -- NASA spent a few days promoting it as a major discovery...

There's a "Google Doodle" on this discovery now... so it MUST be true Smile
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2017 10:57 pm
Quote rosborne:
Quote:
I think it's important to know this stuff, even if we can't actually set foot on the planet.


Quote Foofie:
Quote:
You are entitled to your opinion.


It's very important economically for the USA. The whole world loves Hollywood movies, especially big sci-fi epics with lots of special effects. With seven planets to play with, imagine the box office, video sales and product tie-ins when the films hit the screen in a couple of years. Probably a whole bunch of guys on the phone working out production deals right now.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 04:24 am
@dalehileman,
Voted you up Dale. I want to encourage you to post on threads like this.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 06:14 am
@Blickers,
a whole generation involved in what?? lerning the internals of an atom? To hat purpo was thi initial work carried on. MArie Sklodoqwska and her husband? Lord Rutherord? .
Somewhere in the arch of time, those first workers provided a tapestry of ideas that led to a question "What would happen if we closely packed these various isotopes together"? could they wring out some energy, An what happens to an isotope if we first bombard it with a spare neutron.

I think we see space as a "frontier" that can yield things we dont yet understand. On thing so know is that the earth's lifes[an is not infinite and maybe space travel will provide our species some cover from final annihilation.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 06:18 am
@Region Philbis,
Ill need some good boots. I hope we have a place so I can charge all my lab gizmos.

SHOTGUN!!
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 10:12 am
@rosborne979,

https://www.google.com/logos/doodles/2017/seven-earth-size-exoplanets-discovered-6423181526040576-hp.gif
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 10:32 am
@Region Philbis,
Spectroscopy reported in a NASA site revels the presence of O2/O3, methane, NOx although no water yet. Probably takes some filters ND MORE TIME to "read between" the lines
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 12:24 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
want to encourage you
Thanks Iz for your encouragement
0 Replies
 
 

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