Skip to comments.TRAPPIST-1 Worlds Are Rocky and Rich in Water, New Research Uncover
Posted on 09/05/2018 5:51:09 AM PDT by BenLurkin
The seven planets orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are mostly rocky, with some potentially holding more liquid water than Earth.
New research reveals the density of the worlds within this crowded system to a greater precision than ever before. The findings reveal that some of the planets could have up to 5 percent of their mass in liquid water form, about 250 times as much water as found in Earth's oceans.
"All the TRAPPIST-1 planets are very Earth-like they have a solid core, surrounded by an atmosphere,"
In addition to narrowing down the composition of the exoplanets, the researchers also found that one of the worlds could boast some familiar characteristics.
"TRAPPIST-1e is the exoplanet which is most similar to Earth in terms of mass, radius and energy received from its star,"
The researchers relied on data captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and several of the European Southern Observatory's instruments in Chile to make detailed observations that could reveal the variations in planetary orbits.
If one planet traveled around its star alone, then the only gravitational pull it would feel would come from the star. But when a system holds two or more worlds, the planets interact gravitationally, tugging on one another with a force related to their masses. These shifts depend on the planets' mass, distance and other orbital parameters.
At the same time, crowded systems like TRAPPIST-1 make it more challenging to tease out the effects of individual planets, as each world tugs somewhat at its neighbors. The TRAPPIST-1 planets are easier to measure because they orbit in sync; together, the seven exoplanets form a resonance chain connecting them all together and suggesting a slow, peaceful evolution.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
TRAPPIST-1, also designated as 2MASS J23062928-0502285, is an ultra-cool red dwarf star that is slightly larger, but much more massive, than the planet Jupiter; it is located 39.6 light-years from the Sun in the constellation Aquarius. Wikipedia
Should change its name to something easier to pronounce, something like "Honorificabilitudinitatibus" for instance.
I suppose we are listening for radio signals from TRAPPIST-1, but so far nothing but silence. [shrug] Can’t say I’m surprised.
So what? Unless and until we create artificial gravity, a la Star trek, we are going nowhere, and that includes Mars.
How does not having artificial gravity prevent us from going to Mars?
As long as we have artificial gravy to go with the freeze dried mashed potatoes, trips to Mars will be tolerable.
I read that the star will burn for up to 12 trillion years, assuming it doesn’t come into contact with something else in the future. It looks like a great place to raise an extended family.
Mars is months away at best. When we send people to the space station, for periods of time shorter than a trip to Mars, there is a recovery period before they can properly function on Earth. the same thing will happen to anyone we send to Mars. It is a mission with no return.
Why should it be a surprise if the planets have water? They are in the constellation Aquarius, after all. The Water Carrier.
...it is located 39.6 light-years from the Sun...
At 39.6 light years distant, we are seeing what was happening there eons ago (86,000 MPS x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365) and it may have changed completely by now. That little red star may have even burned out!
Nah, probably what was happening 39.6 years ago unless an eon is roughly 19.8 years long.
Right...I was forgetting that light years are a measure of distance, not time.
We have had people in space for periods almost a year (the Russians have been up longer) and while there is a recovery period on return it doesnt render them nonfunctional.
That combined with the lower gravity of Mars (38% of Earth) actually bodes well. Then add in the ability to use centripetal force to simulate gravity on the way there and back really lessen that problem.
It’s not eons ago. It’s 40 years ago.
Now getting there might take eons.
Thanks BenLurkin. Adding APoD to the ping.
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Even at warp 9...
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