Earth 2.0, and 3.0, and 4.0…

Seven earth sized planets have been discovered by space telescope Spitzer in a galaxy 40 light years away. Three of these newly discovered planets sit in what is known as the Goldilocks zone, a distance near enough to a star for liquid water to form. These planets are named after the star they orbit – TRAPPIST-1, the three most habitable therefore: TRAPPIST-1e, TRAPPIST-1f, and TRAPPIST-1g. Further research aims to reveal whether the atmospheres of these planets contain gases recognisable as “life” gases on earth, namely Oxygen and Methane. There have however been no signs of life or organic compounds on these planets yet and those researching them suggest remaining cautious as the star the planets orbit is known to be variable in starlight. As research continues the James Webb Telescope, set to begin operation next year, will be pointed at the system and offer a more sensitive look into space than ever before.

 

For more information check out the story on TheNewScientist, NatureNews, ScienceNews, and ScienceDaily.

 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For image and more related images click here.

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