Former astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, has famously stated, “There may be aliens in our Milky Way galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies. The probability is almost certain that there is life somewhere in space.”
Scientists have discovered rocky planets near Trappist-1 which are habitable in nature steering the theory that alien life might exist in the universe!
Trappist-1 is a dwarf star. The star is situated 40 light years away from our home planet, earth.
Seven planets have been discovered to orbit around this star. The interesting part is that the planets are rocky in nature, similar to our planet earth.
Four detailed studies were conducted by the University of Birmingham to examine and understand the composition of these planets present in the Trappist-1 system. The scientists looked at measurements of the planet, their atmospheric composition, and masses.
The studies conducted with the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope revealed that the planets were quite similar to the earth. Firstly, they were rocky in nature and five of them did not contain hydrogen or helium in their atmosphere.
In a video by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sean Carey, Manager Spitzer Science Center Caltech/IPAC, stated, “The big news is that around a very nearby, cold, small star, we found seven rocky, Earth-sized planets, all of which could potentially have liquid water.”
Three of the seven planets orbit within the habitable zone of the star and could easily posses water on the surface, given the compatible set of conditions.
According to statistics by Futurism, five percent of the material composition of these planets is made of water, which is much more than that of the earth.
However, in order to determine in what form the water is found on these planets depends upon the heat provided by the dwarf star.
The planets orbiting the Trappist-1 are located extremely close to each other. Nikole Lewis, James Webb Telescope Project Scientist Space Telescope Science Institute stated, “If you were standing on one of these planets, you would actually see a lot of them sort of in the sky whipping by on these very short orbital periods.”
However, there are certain conditions that still need to be evaluated that make the planets a potentially dangerous place to live in. The three planets present within the habitable zone are the target of persistent attack of dangerous radiation.
These sparks of radiation can potentially demolish the atmosphere making it an unviable habitat.
Further studies are being conducted to get a better idea of what conditions are needed to make these planets as habitable as earth.
We are near to finding out whether extra-terrestrial life can exist on these planets!