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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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A nearby ultra-cool dwarf star 39.13 ly away with seven transiting Earth-sized planets, more than any other system. First planets found by the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope. At first, the innermost two are potentially habitable and represent the easiest to study planets for biosignatures to be detected, and the third was thought to be outside the habitable zone. The first two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of the Earth and are at the inner edge of the HZ and orbit at 1.5 and 2.4 days. The planets are very compact and the gravitational interactions are significant, with resonances linking all of them. When the innermost planet b completes 8 orbits, the next planets complete 5, 3, and 2 respectively. The outermost planet (h) was predicted to have a period in a certain resonance with the other outer planets, and this was confirmed. When h orbits twic, g orbits 3 times and f 4 times. The atmospheres of he inner planets are thought to have been destroyed by the stars intense solar wind withing millions of years. The further out planets' atmospheres could have survived for billions of years though. Planet f was at first thought to be the most habitable, but now next planet out g appears to be the most habitable. Planet h receives about the same irradiation as Ceres does, and yet still orbits six times closer than mercury does from the sun. The mass of all planets other than the outermost have been determined using the transit timing variation technique. There was a race among astronomers using kepler data to determine h's orbit. The star is not much larger than Jupiter and only emits 5% the Sun's energy. The view from the fifth planet would be remarkable, with the star appearing 10 times larger than the sun does in our sky, and the other planets appearing twice the size of the moon.

TRAPPIST-1 System Web PagesEdit

TRAPPIST-1 System In the NewsEdit

Three Planets Discovered (May 2016)Edit

Atmosphere Survival Simulated (May 2017)Edit

The Race To Trace Planet h's Orbit (May 2017)Edit

See AlsoEdit

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