7 Earth-Size Planets Orbit Dwarf Star, NASA and European Astronomers Say – Kenneth Chang / The New York Times


This is the kind of story that would have provided endless hours of fascination to me during my childhood and in fact, still does as an adult.  The opening paragraphs from the reporting of this story by Kenneth Chang of The New York Times:

Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system.

The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.

One or more of the exoplanets in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.

Source: 7 Earth – Size Planets orbit Dwarf Star, NASA and European Astronomers Say  – New York Times

 

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