Talk about lucky number seven. Astronomers have discovered not one, not two, but seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1.
Three of them are in the habitable zone, which is the perfect place where liquid water can exist on the surface. It’s not too hot or too cold. Although liquid water can exist on any of the seven, it’s likely that there are three which has the life giving substance, NASA said. The space agency call the discovery of the fascinating solar system record-breaking.
“The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of if, but when,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, said at a news conference announcing the discovery.
Zurbuchen called it a “major step forward” towards the goal of answering what’s on everyone’s minds: Is there on other worlds?
The discovery is “very promising for life beyond our solar system,” Michael Gillon, astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium, added during the press conference.
This is the first time astronomers have found so many Earth-size planets going around the same sun.
Since the seven planets orbit the star, which is about 40 light years away, the view from one planet would reveal other planets to look as big, if not bigger, than the way we see the moon from Earth. The wouldn’t be just dots of light, but full sized planets.
The three planets in the habitat zone, also known as the Goldilocks Zone, are called TRAPPIST-1e, f, and g. Exoplanet “e” is about the same size as Earth and even gets around the same amount of light as we do.
Do you think there will be life on Trappist 1? Or is the NASA announcement over zealous? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!