Recently, NASA researchers made a very significant discovery using the Spitzer Space Telescope. They discovered seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life in a sister solar system. These planets have been found orbiting a tiny star named Trappist-1. Trappist-1 is named after the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile.
Trappist-1 is in the constellation Aquarius and is about 40 light-years or 235 trillion miles away from Earth. In cosmic terms, this star is quite close to home.
Researchers are very hopeful that they can find alien life on the planets of Trappist-1. Their research suggests that three of these planets have rocks and have Earth-like masses. Above all, surface temperatures at these planets range between 0 to 100°C (32 to 212°F). NASA is hopeful that some of these planets could have water and maybe even extraterrestrial life.
Thomas Zurbuchen, the Associate Administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said, “This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life. Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.”