On February 22, NASA has made a very important announcement in a press conference held in Washington: 3 planets with the size of the Earth have been discovered using Trappist telescope.
The new discovered solar system named Trappist-1 (transiting planets and planetesimals small telescope), after the telescope that discovered these three planets, has a dwarf star located 40 light-years away distance to our planet, denoting that we could not travel towards them anytime soon.
Spitzer Space Telescope, helped by the NASA’s scientists from the ground, confirmed the existence of these three planets, but also discovered the existence of 5 more in the same solar system.
Collected data results were published February 22 in Nature magazine. With the help of Spitzer, scientists have succesful measured the mass of all 7 planets, and also the density.
Despite our Sun, the new discovered dwarf-star of the Trappist-1 solar system allows planets orbiting at a small distance around it to have liquit water and also life (in this case, the distance is smaller than that of Mercury from the Sun).
All these 7 exoplanets are also orbiting very close to each other – If you’re standing on one of these planets, you can see the others closer than we see our moon from here.
They seem to have the same side always facing the sun, which means that one half of the planet is heated and the other one is cold, but also that the light is not warming up the dark side.
“This is the most exciting result I have seen in the 14 years of Spitzer operations,” said Sean Carey, manager of NASA’s Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California. ”
Spitzer will follow up in the fall to further refine our understanding of these planets so that the James Webb Space Telescope can follow up. More observations of the system are sure to reveal more secrets.”