Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting ultracool dwarf star

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Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting ultracool dwarf star Empty Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting ultracool dwarf star

Post by Ben Reilly on Tue May 03, 2016 8:33 pm

Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting ultracool dwarf star Article-0-12EE78A5000005DC-83_224x666

Whoops, wrong photo. Here we go (artist's impression, obviously):

Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting ultracool dwarf star 160502150914-01-habitable-planets-0502-exlarge-169

(CNN)For the first time, researchers have discovered three potentially habitable, Earth-like worlds orbiting an ultracool dwarf star 40 light-years away in another star system, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

The ultracool dwarf star, known as TRAPPIST-1, isn't the kind of star scientists expected to be a hub for planets. It's at the end of the range for what classifies as a star: half the temperature and a tenth the mass of the sun. TRAPPIST-1 is red, barely larger than Jupiter and too dim to be seen with the naked eye or even amateur telescopes from Earth.

But these tiny stars, along with brown dwarfs, are long-lived, common in the Milky Way and represent 25-50% of stellar objects in the galaxy, said study researcher Julien de Wit, a postdoctoral associate with MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

They were largely overlooked until researcher Michaël Gillon of the University of Liège in Belgium decided to take a risk and study the space around one of these dwarves. It paid off.

The planets are about the size of Earth and given the proximity of two of them to the dwarf star, they receive about four times the amount of radiation than we do from the sun, which suggests they are in the "habitable zone." According to Burgasser, the "habitable zone," determines how close a planet is to the star that it orbits and given the temperature of the planet based on that proximity, it could have water on the surface. This core ingredient for life as we know it also suggests there could be an atmosphere and habitable regions on the planets themselves.

Less is known about the third outer planet, which receives twice the amount of radiation that Earth does, but it is potentially in the habitable zone as well.
Like the moon, the researchers believe the two planets closest to the star are tidally locked. This means that the planets always face one way to the star. One side of the planet is perpetually night, while the other is always day.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/02/health/three-habitable-planets-earth-dwarf-star/
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Post by eddie on Tue May 03, 2016 8:35 pm

Even though that's an artists impression, does that picture make you feel dark and lonely or like you want to walk it?


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Post by Victorismyhero on Tue May 03, 2016 9:50 pm

Cool
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Post by Ben Reilly on Thu May 05, 2016 7:13 pm

eddie wrote:Even though that's an artists impression, does that picture make you feel dark and lonely or like you want to walk it?



Both Smile
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Post by eddie on Thu May 05, 2016 8:06 pm

Yep. Both.
That's why I asked. I couldn't decide.
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