Lifestyle • 23 Feb, 2017
NASA DISCOVERS WHOLE NEW SOLAR SYSTEM
7 ‘Earth-like’ Planets Could Be Home To Alien Life
Have you used Google today?
Just when you thought you had your solar systems sorted from your Milky Ways, NASA has thrown a planet-sized spanner in the works; announcing their discovery of the ‘most incredible star system’ yet.
Orbiting around their 2010 discovery, TRAPPIST-1, a dim, red star otherwise known as an ‘Ultra Cool Dwarf’ (due to the reduced amount of light it emits compared to our own sun) the seven planet solar system is only 39 light-years away - making it our virtual next door neighbour! NASA have called it the most promising exoplanetary discovery to date, and researchers have confirmed that three of the planets, all of which are approximately the same size as Earth, could harbour oceans of water, and therefore support life. Given the close proximity of each planet to their sun in the TRAPPIST-1 system, living there would be quite the spectacle too.
“It would be beautiful,” said Amaury Triaud, one of the scientists involved. “Every now and then you’d see another planet, about as big as another moon in the sky.” In addition, the sun would look about 10 times bigger than our own, despite being only 8 per cent of the size and would appear in the sky in salmon-pink. Of course getting there is another issue, and research at NASA continues, with the team confident of understanding more about the possibility of life there within the next ten years.
*To celebrate the news, Google have chosen animator Nate Swinehart’s star-studded doodle as their masthead. Also below is another artist’s depiction of what a planet-hopping fantasy vacation to the new solar system might look like.
Words by jonaspin