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Astronomers Find Seven Earth-Sized Planets

Katin Sarner, School News Editor

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In a solar system 40 light years away, astronomers discovered seven Earth- sized planets. One or more of these planets could harbor water, or even oceans. Some sources state that all of the planets could support live, other sources believe only some could potentially hold life. Three of the seven planets lie in the habitable zone of the so This solar systems star is called TRAPPIST-1 , and is a much smaller our sun. ‘”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”, as stated on CNN.com.  Many sources state discovering this solar system could be key to finding plants that can withstand life.

All of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system are mush closer to the sun than Earth is to our sun. “If Standing on the surface of one of the planets, you would receive 200 times less light than you get from the sun, but you would still receive just as much energy to keep you warm since the star is so close. It would also afford some picturesque views, as the other planets would appear in the sky as big as the moon (or even twice as big).”, as stated on CNN.com by Ashley Strickland. All of the planets are very close in size, and have very short orbits compared to our solar system. The planets orbits very from approximately one and a half to about 13 Earth days, compared to Earth’s orbit of 365 days. Astronomers believe that the closest planets are “tidally locked”. This means that on one side of the star, it is always day time and on the other side of the star it is always night.

Although it would take millions of years to reach the TRAPPEST-1 system, astronomers will continue to look for signs of life on these planets. TRAPPEST-1 may be the beginning to finding another Earth.
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Astronomers Find Seven Earth-Sized Planets