Why These Might Be Our Last Ten Years on Earth
NASA Spitzer Space Telescope has found seven Earth like exoplanets in orbit around a single ultra cool white dwarf star. The star is known as Trappist-1 and is only less than 40 light years away. Which means that it is very close to our own solar system. What’s different about this system and what makes it special is, that it has seven temperate terrestrial planets, that resemble our very own planet Earth. This means that there is a chance there is life on them.
All the seven planets are in an orbit closer to Trappist-1 than Mercury is to the Sun. An individual standing on the surface of one of the planets, can observe geological and atmospheric features on the others. Some of the other worlds would appear larger than the Moon as seen from the Earth.
The planets are in the habitable zone of the star, where the temperature is just right for liquid water to exist on the surface.
One side of these planets is tidally locked to the star which means that there will always be day on one side and night on the other. Scientists could know if these planets have alien life within just ten years.
Cambridge astronomer Dr Amaury Triaud said “”Within the next decade we could know if we are alone in the universe. And that is quite incredible.”
We might just be too close to finding out if we are alone on this universe and it’s an incredible thing.
“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.
the TRAPPIST-1 star, unlike our sun is classified as an ultra-cool dwarf, it is so cool that liquid water could survive on planets orbiting very close to it. Whereas in our solar system, this is not possible.
Who knows where we will be after the next ten years but it’s definitely worth the wait. Until then, keep our earth clean and safe.