May 24, 2017 02:52 AM EDT
After several months of careful study, the existence of the seventh planet around TRAPPIST-1 has finally been confirmed. They also report that the atmosphere of the planet might be quite chilly.
Planet H's Details Revealed
Seven small exoplanets orbited around TRAPPIST-1 were discovered by several astronomers, which made it quite popular a few months ago. The seventh planet was called planet h at that time, but they could not be certain that it was really a planet since it passed in front of the star only once, Sky and Telescope reported.
This time around, Rodrigo Luger and his team, including the original members of the discovery team have now confirmed of planet h's existence. For them to confirm it, they used more than 70 days of data from NASA's repurposed Kepler spacecraft. It was the one that detected planet h crossing in front of TRAPPIST-1 at least four times with an orbital period of 18.77, which was expected by the researchers based on their previous observations.
The researchers also revealed that the planet is 75 percent as wide as Earth, or 40 percent larger than Mars. With their initial findings, they still could not determine the world's mass due to its measured transits are not clean enough to reveal timing shifts. The other planets have their measurements because the researchers used tiny shifts to estimate their gravitational influence on one another.
Seventh Planet Around TRAPPIST-1 Might Be Cold
With the discovery of planet h's orbit, it places itself outside the dwarf star's habitable zone. It is revealed that the amount of energy that the seventh planet receives from the little star is comparable with the dwarf planet Ceres receives from the Sun, Science News reported.
The researchers confirmed that the planet is chilly and it is definitely not a place for life. It is about 9.6 million kilometers away from the star, which has only 8 percent of the mass of Earth's Sun.
Check out NASA and TRAPPIST-1 video below: