NASA made an incredible announcement today. Researchers believe they have discovered seven rocky planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1, 39 light years from Earth.
The exciting thing about these planets is that many of them fall in what scientists called the habitable zone. A distance from a star that would allow a planet with the right atmospheric conditions to have water. And from our understanding of life….where there is water, there could be Klingons!
National Geographic says the seven planets are so close together , they would show up in each others night skies. Sometimes as crescents, other times dominated the evening sky twice as large as a full moon on Earth. “The spectacle would be beautiful,” says the University of Cambridge’s Amaury Triaud.
This talk of habitable planets, relatively close to Earth, has the world fired up…on aliens. The science journal Nature has published a sci-fi short story about an adventurer travelling to TRAPPIST-1.
NatGeo is excited, they say: And now, it’s among the best neighborhoods to study for signs of life beyond Earth: The relative sizes of the planets and star, plus the system’s proximity, mean that plucking the signatures of living, breathing organisms from the planet’s atmospheres could be within reach.
Here’s a video they have showing 5 facts about TRAPPIST-1, a “cool dwarf” star. Not as fun as Red Dwarf, but I’ll take it.
If we don’t name the seven TRAPPIST planets after the 7 Dwarves, I think we’ve lost the plot as a society.