NASA announced discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 solar system, possibly permitting life support

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“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The planets have orbits from one and a half to nearly 13 Earth days. Standing on the surface of one of the planets, you would receive 200 times less light than you get from the sun, but you would still receive just as much energy to keep you warm since the star is so close. The star would appear three times as big as the sun in our sky. The planets always face one way to the star. One side of the planet is perpetually night, while the other is always day. Over the next decade, the researchers want to define the atmosphere of each planet, as well as to determine whether they truly do have liquid water on the surface and search for signs of life. It would take us millions of years to reach this star system. But from a research perspective, it’s a close opportunity and the best target to search for life beyond our solar system.

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