TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star and its planets, illustration

TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star and its planets, illustration


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TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star and its planets. Illustration of the ultra-cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 and its seven planets, two of which are transiting the star's disc (upper left). This system has been studied using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) and the ground-based TRAPPIST (Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope). The sizes and relative positions are to scale. TRAPPIST-1 is Jupiter-sized, and all the planets are close to the size of the Earth. They orbit as close as Mercury does to our Sun, completing their orbits in a few Earth days. Several of the planets may be in a habitable zone for life. The configuration here was observed by the SST in 2016. TRAPPIST-1 is 39 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Aquarius. The planets were discovered in 2015 and 2017. Image published in 2017.

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