Life Not on Earth?

by Sukhmani Kaur

On February 22nd, 2017 the world was awakened with an exciting scientific discovery. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope detected seven earth-like exo-planets orbiting a bright, small star. What’s even more exciting is that three of these planets orbit in the habitable zone and could potentially have even water under the right conditions. Maybe some new species live out there? These planets are considered exo-planets since they are outside our own solar system (about 40 light-years or 235 trillion miles from Mother Earth). During May of 2016, researchers in Chile under TRAPPIST (Transiting Planets and Planestesimals Small Telescope) had released information to the public about three planets discovered. It is predicted that most of these planets are rocky.

trappist-1system

It is said that the TRAPPIST-1 star is much cooler than our sun that the closest planets could potentially hold water on their surface. Additionally, all of the planets in this new system are very close together. By know you are probably used to northeast Ohio weather changing constantly, however, in these newly discovered planets each side is tidally lock to their star. This means that the weather could range from very extreme temperatures and each side of the planet could be “perpetual day or night” (NASA).

Get excited for the upcoming launch of James Webb Space Telescope next year. This new telescope will detect topographical features of the exoplanets.

Sources:

  • Cover Image: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around
  • Article Image: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/nasas-discovery-of-7-earth-sized-exoplanets-is-a-significant-step-in-the-search-for-alien-lifeforms-364183.html