Feb 24, 2017 05:40 AM EST
Meet The 7 New Life-Sustaining Planets Discovered By NASA
NASA has just announced that it discovered a new solar system with seven habitable planets the same size as Earth. The announcement was made in a press conference it held at its headquarters in Washington.
The newly discovered solar system is called the TRAPPIST-1 system which can be found in the Aquarius constellation, which is around 40 million light-years away from our solar system. Given the distance, it will take humans millions of years before they reach the new solar system using present rocketry technology.
TRAPPIST-1 has a total of 7 planets, three of which were discovered a year ago by NASA scientists, revolving around a cool, reddish star which is 10 times smaller than the Sun. Thus, the planets receive reddish light similar to krypton instead of white light.
Unlike the planets in our solar system, these 7 exoplanets are orbiting closer to their star than Mercury is orbiting around the sun. According to Michaël Gillon, an astronomer from the University of Liège in Belgium, you will be able to see the other planets like how we see the moon when we're standing on the surface of one of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.
As scientists celebrate this new discovery, some theoreticians argue that since these planets are closely orbiting their star, they might receive a lot of ultraviolet radiation. NASA scientists countered that although there is a likelihood for the theory, the planets are also potentially life-sustaining because they are still within the "Goldilocks zone" - not too hot, not too cold.
They also added that from among these 7 exoplanets, the scientists said that one of the planets with the most potential to sustain life is the TRAPPIST-1f because it is not too hot nor too cold compared to the other ones in the system.
They said they will continue to study the planets using the Hubble Space Telescope to look for signs of methane and water. The scientists added that they will be able to gather more in-depth data next year when the James Webb Space Telescope, a next-generation telescope, will be launched.
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