Vreme je za emigraciju


Keith’s update: I have now learned that tomorrow’s NASA news announcement is not about Alpha Centauri as I had been guessing (darn) but it is is something even more cool – or “warm” to be precise. Instead, the NASA announcement on Wednesday will be about a nearby star has at least 7 earth-sized planets.

The individuals attending this press event at NASA have been looking for planets circling other stars. Last year one of the participants, Michael Gillon, was lead author on a paper Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star in Nature detailing how his team had confirmed 3 small terrestrial (Earth-sized) planets circulating a cool dwarf star 2MASS J23062928-0502285 (now known as TRAPPIST-1), a M8V class star which is only 39.5 light years away.

It will be announced tomorrow by NASA that Gillon et al have confirmed 4 more Earth-sized planets circling TRAPPIST-1. It is possible that most of the planets confirmed thus circling far TRAPPIST-1 could be in the star’s habitable zone. The inner 6 planets are probably rocky in composition and may be just the right temperature for liquid water to exist (between 0 – 100 degrees C) – if they have any water, that is. The outermost 7th planet still needs some more observations to nail down its orbit and composition.

Astronomers are clearly excited about these planets (see below). The article will appear in Nature magazine, as noted by NASA in its media advisory.