Calling occupants of interplanetary craft – The Carpenters
Seven Earth-sized planets within another solar system have recently been discovered by astronomers in search for alien life.
As they do not orbit around our star, the Sun, they are therefore called exoplanets, and the first had been discovered back in 1992. They orbit around the dwarf star Trappist-1 that is found within the constellation of Aquarius and is only slightly larger than Jupiter. Six of them are in what is known as the temperate zone – an area where the temperature is thought to be between 0 and 100°C. From the research that has been carried out, all seven could potentially support liquid water on their surface, depending on other factors of each planet.
However, only three of these exhibit a conventional habitable zone where life can be considered to be a possibility. The exoplanet Kepler-452b had been discovered earlier this year, and has very close similarities to Earth.
This discovery has raised the possibility of finding life on other planets within the next decade. They’re now focusing on whether the planets have atmospheres, but certain results can only really be determined once humans manage to physically get to them. Astrophysicist Ignas Snellen at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands has also written in a Nature article that by the time the Sun goes out in a few billion years, Trappist-1 will still be an infant star, as it burns hydrogen so slowly, it’ll last another 10 trillion years. This is more than 700 times longer than the universe has existed, so there is plenty of time yet for life to evolve.