Think you know the Solar System inside out? Think again! NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered seven whole new planets orbiting a single star – much like our own system does. But what makes this discovery all the more exciting is that this system, known as TRAPPIST-1, is just 39 light years away from us and, due to the lesser intensity of the central star, three of the planets could well have the conditions for liquid water on the surface: which can mean only one thing: potential aliens.
”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.”
“Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington added. “Finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.”
If you love all things extra-terristrial, grab a subscription to All Abfout Space - and save up to 30% off today.
Instagram Images from @nasa