TRAPPIST-1: Weirdest habitable worlds
Feb 22, 2017
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A new discovery by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed seven Earth-sized planets around the M dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in what is known as the habitable zone -- where there is the potential for liquid water. It is the largest batch of Earth-sized worlds ever discovered in the habitable zone of a single star. While we don’t know if there is life on the TRAPPIST-1 planets, we do know that any life discovered there would likely be very different from life on Earth. It would have to survive the stormy solar flares of an M dwarf, adapt to a planet that might have extreme temperature swings, and thrive in red and infrared light. All seven worlds are early ambassadors of a new generation of planet-hunting targets that promise a new vision of the word “habitable.”

For more information about life around an M dwarf, visit: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/news/1416
For more information about TRAPPIST-1, visit: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/trappist1

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESO/E.Jehin/J. Major