Author Topic: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017  (Read 22529 times)

Offline Mongo62

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #140 on: 04/03/2017 01:37 AM »
A revolution is brewing: observations of TRAPPIST-1 exoplanetary system fosters a new biomarker

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The recent discovery of seven potentially habitable Earth-size planets around the ultra-cool star TRAPPIST-1 has further fueled the hunt for extraterrestrial life. Current methods focus on closely monitoring the host star to look for biomarkers in the transmission signature of exoplanet's atmosphere. However, the outcome of these methods remain uncertain and difficult to disentangle with abiotic alternatives. Recent exoplanet direct imaging observations by THIRSTY, an ultra-high contrast coronagraph located in La Trappe (France), lead us to propose a universal and unambiguous habitability criterion which we directly demonstrate for the TRAPPIST-1 system. Within this new framework, we find that TRAPPIST-1g possesses the first unambiguously habitable environment in our galaxy, with a liquid water percentage that could be as large as ∼ 90 %. Our calculations hinge on a new set of biomarkers, CO2 and CxH2(x+1)O (liquid and gaseous), that could cover up to ∼ 10 % of the planetary surface and atmosphere. THIRSTY and TRAPPIST recent observations accompanied by our new, unbiased habitability criterion may quench our thirst for the search for extraterrestrial life. However, the search for intelligence must continue within and beyond our Solar System.

I was going to edit my original post to point out that it was an April Fool's joke by the author, but accidentally hit "delete" instead, so I am reposting.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2017 01:38 AM by Mongo62 »

Offline CuddlyRocket

Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #141 on: 04/17/2017 07:58 AM »
Updated Masses for the TRAPPIST-1 Planets (arXiv)

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The newly detected TRAPPIST-1 system, with seven low-mass, roughly Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultra-cool dwarf, is one of the most important exoplanet discoveries to date. The short baseline of the available discovery observations, however, means that the planetary masses (obtained through measurement of transit timing variations of the planets of the system) are not yet well constrained. The masses reported in the discovery paper were derived using a combination of photometric timing measurements obtained from the ground and from the Spitzer spacecraft, and have uncertainties ranging from 30\% to nearly 100\%, with the mass of the outermost, P=18.8d, planet h remaining unmeasured. Here, we present an analysis that supplements the timing measurements of the discovery paper with 73.6 days of photometry obtained by the K2 Mission. Our analysis refines the orbital parameters for all of the planets in the system. We substantially improve the upper bounds on eccentricity for inner six planets (finding e<0.02 for inner six known members of the system), and we derive masses of 0.79±0.27M⊕, 1.63±0.63M⊕, 0.33±0.15M⊕, 0.24+0.56−0.24M⊕, 0.36±0.12M⊕, 0.566±0.038M⊕, and 0.086±0.084M⊕ for planets b, c, d, e, f, g, and h, respectively.

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Figure 4 indicates that – to within the errors of our determinations – the four most distant planets are consistent with pure water compositions, and in any event, are substantially less dense either Mars or Venus.

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #142 on: 04/25/2017 05:55 PM »
Further Work on TRAPPIST-1

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=37557

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #143 on: 05/11/2017 09:24 AM »
Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians

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There’s more than one way to appreciate the results. While Tamayo was working on his simulations, he was approached by Matt Russo, a fellow postdoc and jazz guitarist who thought the TRAPPIST-1 resonances looked familiar from music theory. Now, coordinated with the release of Tamayo’s paper, Russo, Tamayo and the musician Andrew Santaguida have teamed up to translate the system’s intricate arrangement of passing worlds into a musical composition.

The seventh planet, h, orbits about once every three weeks. Sped up some 200 million times and expressed in sound waves, that frequency is a C note. From there, the known ratios between planets determine every other planet’s signature note. Together the notes form a major ninth chord. “It’s really remarkable that it worked out like that,” Russo said. “Even with a different pattern of resonances, you wouldn’t get a chord that sounds as good.”

On top of that, the team added drumbeats for whenever an inner planet overtakes an outer neighbor — moments that correspond to close gravitational interactions among the planets. Compared to human percussion, Russo said, “It’s a super-creative drummer. It’s doing something that nobody else would think of.”

https://www.quantamagazine.org/exoplanet-puzzle-cracked-by-jazz-musicians/

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #144 on: 05/17/2017 09:31 AM »
Worlds without Moons: Exomoon Constraints for Compact Planetary Systems

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One of the primary surprises of exoplanet detections has been the discovery of compact planetary systems, whereby numerous planets reside within ~0.5 au of the host star. Many of these kinds of systems have been discovered in recent years, indicating that they are a fairly common orbital architecture. Of particular interest are those systems for which the host star is low mass, thus potentially enabling one or more of the planets to lie within the habitable zone of the host star. One of the contributors to the habitability of the Earth is the presence of a substantial moon whose tidal effects can stabilize axial tilt variations and increase the rate of tidal pool formation. Here, we explore the constraints on the presence of moons for planets in compact systems based on Hill radii and Roche limit considerations. We apply these constraints to the TRAPPIST-1 system and demonstrate that most of the planets are very likely to be worlds without moons.

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/aa6bf2/meta;jsessionid=A3DBDC5F5F51BE049C8E8088EB9EAE2D.c1.iopscience.cld.iop.org

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #145 on: 05/18/2017 07:32 PM »
Atmosphere discovery makes Trappist-1 exoplanet priority in hunt for alien life

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With Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope not due to launch until late 2018, the scientists turned to computer models to find out whether the Trappist-1 planets could have long-lived atmospheres. From details of the Trappist-1 system, which lies 39 light years distant, they worked out the intensity of the stellar wind – the rush of high energy particles streaming out of the star – and the effect it would have on the seven orbiting planets.

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The intensity of the solar wind destroyed the atmospheres of the inner Trappist-1 planets within millions of years. But planets further out fared better, their atmospheres surviving for billions of years, the models found. According to the scientists, while the seventh planet around the star is considered too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface, the sixth planet, Trappist-1g, appears to be the most likely home for life in the Trappist-1 system.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/18/atmosphere-discovery-makes-trappist-1-exoplanet-priority-in-hunt-for-alien-life

Here's the paper the article is based on.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.05535v1

Offline clongton

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #146 on: 05/19/2017 12:47 AM »
Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians

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There’s more than one way to appreciate the results. While Tamayo was working on his simulations, he was approached by Matt Russo, a fellow postdoc and jazz guitarist who thought the TRAPPIST-1 resonances looked familiar from music theory. Now, coordinated with the release of Tamayo’s paper, Russo, Tamayo and the musician Andrew Santaguida have teamed up to translate the system’s intricate arrangement of passing worlds into a musical composition.

The seventh planet, h, orbits about once every three weeks. Sped up some 200 million times and expressed in sound waves, that frequency is a C note. From there, the known ratios between planets determine every other planet’s signature note. Together the notes form a major ninth chord. “It’s really remarkable that it worked out like that,” Russo said. “Even with a different pattern of resonances, you wouldn’t get a chord that sounds as good.”

On top of that, the team added drumbeats for whenever an inner planet overtakes an outer neighbor — moments that correspond to close gravitational interactions among the planets. Compared to human percussion, Russo said, “It’s a super-creative drummer. It’s doing something that nobody else would think of.”

https://www.quantamagazine.org/exoplanet-puzzle-cracked-by-jazz-musicians/

Brings new meaning to the phrase "Music of the Spheres". Perhaps the ancients were right after all?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #147 on: 05/22/2017 08:58 PM »
Kepler telescope spies details of TRAPPIST-1 system's outermost planet

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/uow-kt052217.php

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #148 on: 05/24/2017 06:35 PM »
Why are you posting stuff by a nutjob with a penchant for caps as if it means anything?
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 06:38 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #149 on: 05/24/2017 07:02 PM »
Why are you posting stuff by a nutjob with a penchant for caps as if it means anything?

Well his idea was getting consideration over there & I regard that as a decent site for your information.

By the way would you kindly show some consideration to those with mental health issues in general rather than throwing around comments like 'nutjob' as it makes you sound like a ten year old.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017
« Reply #150 on: 08/12/2017 11:13 PM »
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Aug. 11, 2017
TRAPPIST-1 is Older Than Our Solar System

If we want to know more about whether life could survive on a planet outside our solar system, it’s important to know the age of its star. Young stars have frequent releases of high-energy radiation called flares that can zap their planets' surfaces. If the planets are newly formed, their orbits may also be unstable. On the other hand, planets orbiting older stars have survived the spate of youthful flares, but have also been exposed to the ravages of stellar radiation for a longer period of time.

Scientists now have a good estimate for the age of one of the most intriguing planetary systems discovered to date -- TRAPPIST-1, a system of seven Earth-size worlds orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star about 40 light-years away. Researchers say in a new study that the TRAPPIST-1 star is quite old: between 5.4 and 9.8 billion years. This is up to twice as old as our own solar system, which formed some 4.5 billion years ago.

The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 were revealed earlier this year in a NASA news conference, using a combination of results from the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and other ground-based telescopes.  Three of the TRAPPIST-1 planets reside in the star’s "habitable zone," the orbital distance where a rocky planet with an atmosphere could have liquid water on its surface. All seven planets are likely tidally locked to their star, each with a perpetual dayside and nightside.

At the time of its discovery, scientists believed the TRAPPIST-1 system had to be at least 500 million years old, since it takes stars of TRAPPIST-1’s low mass (roughly 8 percent that of the Sun) roughly that long to contract to its minimum size, just a bit larger than the planet Jupiter. However, even this lower age limit was uncertain; in theory, the star could be almost as old as the universe itself. Are the orbits of this compact system of planets stable? Might life have enough time to evolve on any of these worlds?

"Our results really help constrain the evolution of the TRAPPIST-1 system, because the system has to have persisted for billions of years. This means the planets had to evolve together, otherwise the system would have fallen apart long ago," said Adam Burgasser, an astronomer at the University of California, San Diego, and the paper's first author. Burgasser teamed up with Eric Mamajek, deputy program scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, to calculate TRAPPIST-1's age. Their results will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

It is unclear what this older age means for the planets' habitability. On the one hand, older stars flare less than younger stars, and Burgasser and Mamajek confirmed that TRAPPIST-1 is relatively quiet compared to other ultra-cool dwarf stars. On the other hand, since the planets are so close to the star, they have soaked up billions of years of high-energy radiation, which could have boiled off atmospheres and large amounts of water. In fact, the equivalent of an Earth ocean may have evaporated from each TRAPPIST-1 planet except for the two most distant from the host star: planets g and h. In our own solar system, Mars is an example of a planet that likely had liquid water on its surface in the past, but lost most of its water and atmosphere to the Sun’s high-energy radiation over billions of years.

However, old age does not necessarily mean that a planet's atmosphere has been eroded. Given that the TRAPPIST-1 planets have lower densities than Earth, it is possible that large reservoirs of volatile molecules such as water could produce thick atmospheres that would shield the planetary surfaces from harmful radiation. A thick atmosphere could also help redistribute heat to the dark sides of these tidally locked planets, increasing habitable real estate. But this could also backfire in a "runaway greenhouse" process, in which the atmosphere becomes so thick the planet surface overheats – as on Venus.

"If there is life on these planets, I would speculate that it has to be hardy life, because it has to be able to survive some potentially dire scenarios for billions of years," Burgasser said.

Fortunately, low-mass stars like TRAPPIST-1 have temperatures and brightnesses that remain relatively constant over trillions of years, punctuated by occasional magnetic flaring events. The lifetimes of tiny stars like TRAPPIST-1 are predicted to be much, much longer than the 13.7 billion-year age of the universe (the Sun, by comparison, has an expected lifetime of about 10 billion years).

"Stars much more massive than the Sun consume their fuel quickly, brightening over millions of years and exploding as supernovae," Mamajek said. "But TRAPPIST-1 is like a slow-burning candle that will shine for about 900 times longer than the current age of the universe."

Some of the clues Burgasser and Mamajek used to measure the age of TRAPPIST-1 included how fast the star is moving in its orbit around the Milky Way (speedier stars tend to be older), its atmosphere’s chemical composition, and how many flares TRAPPIST-1 had during observational periods. These variables all pointed to a star that is substantially older than our Sun.

Future observations with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and upcoming James Webb Space Telescope may reveal whether these planets have atmospheres, and whether such atmospheres are like Earth's.

"These new results provide useful context for future observations of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, which could give us great insight into how planetary atmospheres form and evolve, and persist or not," said Tiffany Kataria, exoplanet scientist at JPL, who was not involved in the study.

Future observations with Spitzer could help scientists sharpen their estimates of the TRAPPIST-1 planets’ densities, which would inform their understanding of their compositions.

For more information about TRAPPIST-1, visit:

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/trappist1

Elizabeth Landau
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/trappist-1-is-older-than-our-solar-system

1st image caption:

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This illustration shows what the TRAPPIST-1 system might look like from a vantage point near planet TRAPPIST-1f (at right).
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

2nd image caption:

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TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star in the constellation Aquarius, and its seven planets orbit very close to it.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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