The search for signs of alien life in the universe just got a massive new clue: NASA recently discovered seven Earth-size planets whose conditions could potentially harbor life.
The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light years — or 235 trillion miles — from Earth. Sounds far away, but in terms of astronomy, it’s actually quite close. Trappist-1 is a cool red dwarf star, smaller and cooler than our own sun. But its relative dimness make it easier for telescopes on Earth to pick out planets orbiting the dwarf.
Two of the planets in the Trappist-1 system could potentially be at the right temperature to create oceans of water, as well as gases similar to ones we have on Earth.
“You can just imagine how many worlds are out there that have a shot to becoming a habitable ecosystem,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s science mission directorate, said during a NASA news conference. “Are we alone out there? We’re making a step forward with this — a leap forward, in fact — towards answering that question.”
Listen to NASA research scientists talk about the amazing science and its implications, and share their excitement…