5 may. 2016

Three Potentially-Habitable Earth-like Planets Found only 40 Light-Years Away

A team of astronomers have discovered a system of three Earth-like exoplanets orbiting a small star that is only 40 light-years away from Earth, that are considered good candidates for supporting life.

The star in question, an ultracool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is only a bit bigger than Jupiter, and only emits approximately one two-hundredths of the output of our Sun, making it too faint to see with the naked eye. The planets in question, however, orbit very close to the star, allowing them to gather enough light from the star to keep warm. Because of their extremely close orbits, the planets orbit TRAPPIST-1 extremely quickly: the innermost planet takes 1.5 Earth days for a single revolution, and the second planet's year is only 2.4 days.

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