widenews desk: Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, raising the prospect of life, research published on Wednesday showed.
TRAPPIST-1, is a small star, dim celestial body in the constellation Aquarius. It is located about 40 light years away from Earth. Researchers said the proximity of the system, combined with the proportionally large size of its planets compared to the small star, make it a good target for follow-up studies. They hope to scan the planets’ atmospheres for possible chemical fingerprints of life.
Researchers have focused on finding Earth-sized rocky planets with the right temperatures so that water, if any exists, would be liquid, a condition believed to be necessary for life.
Researchers informed TRAPPIST-1 is so small and cool, its so-called “habitable zone” is very close to the star. Three planets are properly positioned for liquid water. They form a very compact system and they could have some liquid water and maybe life.
The diameter of TRAPPIST-1 is about 8 percent of the sun’s size. That makes its Earth-sized planets appear large as they parade past.