This week we had major science news: the 7 planets discovered by NASA. But what is so important about these planets and what impact it can have in our lives?
This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes have discovered that there are seven Earth-size planets in the system. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
To start with, the 7 planets discovered are not regular planets. Actually, they are very special for three big reasons:
- They all have similar size to Earth
- The distance between the planets from the dwarf star (“their sun”) means that liquid water could be found on their surfaces
- This solar system is only 39 light years away from our solar system
We made a science infographic about the 7 planets discovered so you can understand better:
If you are too curious and missed the live stream made by NASA, that’s ok. It was all recorded and you can find the video below:
It is the first time we could actually be close to understand more about life itself. Hopes are that at least one of the three planets that have Earth-like conditions would have experienced forms of life (or even are experiencing them now). But why is it so important?
Apparently it is not a matter of finding life outside the Earth. Now, it is a matter of understanding how life develops and what is the future of our planet.
Many theories exist. Each of them more interesting and scary than the other. One of scientists favourite is the Fermix Paradox. Here is a video explaining the theory: