TRAPPIST-1 System Announcement

TRAPPIST-1 System Announcement

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Updated Feb 24, 2017 at 12:47PM EST by Brad.

Added Feb 22, 2017 at 04:49PM EST by JustAGuy100.

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Overview

TRAPPIST-1 is a ultra-cool dwarf star and its planetary system discovered by the Belgian optic robotic telescope with the same name in May 2016 and publicly announced by NASA on February 22th, 2017. Located approximately 40 light-years away from Earth, the star has seven Earth-like planets orbiting around it.

Background

On February 21st, 2017, NASA tweeted a message about an upcoming press conference to be held on the following day at 1 p.m. (EST), along with an artist's rendering of an Earth-like planet. The message was immediately met with excitement on Twitter and the rest of social media, as well as online news outlets, many of whom speculated whether the space agency is preparing to announce the discovery of alien life. On February 22nd, NASA announced a major update on its recent discovery of TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf star located about 40 light-years away from Earth in the Aquarius constellation, during which the scientists revealed there are seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the star, including three that lie within the circumstellar habitable zone where liquid water and life. All but one of the seven planets are likely thought to be rocky planets.


TRAPPIST

The TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope–South (TRAPPIST) is a Belgian optic robotic telescope that specializes in scanning the sky in search of comets and exoplanets. Operated by a team of astronomers at the University of Liège in Belgium and located at the La Silla Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile, the telescope went online in 2010, and after six years of operation, it confirmed the discovery of a red dwarf star with planets in the habitable zone, which came to be known as TRAPPIST-1, in May 2016.

Developments

Following the announcement, the news of the discovery quickly spread across the social and news media outlets; the press release was posted on the subreddit /r/space, gaining upwards of 33,000 upvotes in the span of three hours[2], while many others shared their reactions on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #trappist1.[3]

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Top Comments

TheDwarvenGuy
TheDwarvenGuy

All of the sunlight has a red hue, all the planets are within viewing distance of each other, some bigger than the moon appears in our sky. The years on these planets are less than a month.

I don't know about you, but this system is metal AF.

+103

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