Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting dwarf star

Chad Serrate:

Three Earth-like planets have been discovered 40 light years away orbiting a dwarf star (small and low luminosity) The star is 1/10th the size of the sun and cannot be seen with the naked eye or even same amateur telescopes. This ultra-cool dwarf star is called TRAPPIST-1 and the three earth like planets that surround it could be habitable and hold signs of life. “Over the course of 62 nights from September to December 2015, researchers led by Gillon used a telescope, also called TRAPPIST (transiting planets and planetesimals small telescope), to observe its starlight and changes in brightness” (Strickland). The changes in light or dimming is tiny but visible from the telescope and shows that they orbit this dwarf star. 2 of them receive four times the amount of radiation but are still considered to be in the “habitable zone”(determines how close a planet is to the star that it orbits and given the temperature of the planet based on that proximity, it could have water on the surface) (Strickland). Studies will continue for years to come to find water and methane but the downside is that an expedition with current technology would take millions of years to reach.

This artist's impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth that were discovered using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory. Given the proximity of the dwarf star, the rosy sun would appear very large in the sky.

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