Thursday February 23, 2017

There Better Be Some Aliens in This Solar System with Earth-Sized Planets

Since yesterday, NASA and the science community have been gloating about the discovery of seven Earth-like planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, which is "only" 235 trillion miles away from us. That sounds pretty damn far to me, but what do I know. Apparently, experts are already convinced of the planets’ composition and the possibility that they may even have liquid water on the surface. You can check out a very cool microsite on the TRAPPIST-1 system here.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid waterآ—key to life as we know itآ—under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone. "This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Answering the question "are we alone" is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal."