Author Topic: NASA's Trappist-1 Announcement - Feb 22, 2017  (Read 27262 times)

Offline jebbo

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Shooting blindly into the dark, maybe they have some indication of near-me planets in Earth-type orbits around K- or G-class stars in the immediate galactic neighbourhood from the detailed radial velocity measurements that they've been taking recently. I know that Epsilon Eridani is considered a good candidate.

This doesn't sound like an RV related announcement, but there is an additional potentially habitable planet due for announcement on Thursday (under embargo) that is unrelated which may well be from RV.

--- Tony

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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It is about TRAPPIST-1, definitely.

This is from the famous Didier Queloz, who has worked with Gillon;

https://www.twitter.com/DidierQueloz/status/833976887500234754

https://www.twitter.com/DidierQueloz/status/834027647046918145

It will probably be an announcement one of the planets is likely a waterworld.

Edit; Looks like he's hidden the tweets.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 04:48 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline jebbo

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It is about TRAPPIST-1, definitely.

This is from the famous Didier Queloz, who has worked with Gillon;

https://www.twitter.com/DidierQueloz/status/833976887500234754

https://www.twitter.com/DidierQueloz/status/834027647046918145

It will probably be an announcement 1c is likely a waterworld.

How was I not following Didier? Doh!

--- Tony

Offline Star One

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Am I right in thinking that the HST is insufficiently sensitive to detect free oxygen in the atmosphere and they will have to wait for JWST to come on line to do this?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
#NASA will announce that TRAPPIST-1 has 7 Earth-sized planets - 6 within/close to star's habitable zone #astrobiology #extrasolar #astronomy

https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/834084255923838976
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 04:04 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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That looks to me pure speculation, and I'm not convinced;

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/02/spitzer-discove.html

It is not impossible there are other bodies, indeed earlier proposals remarked on other potential transit features not related to the already identified planets.  But if they had found other objects I suspect they would have been mentioned in the most recent proposals, even if obliquely.

I also don't see why representatives of both Spitzer and Hubble would need to be there. They could be identified by the search conducted at the VLT alone.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 04:31 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline as58

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That looks to me pure speculation, and I'm not convinced;

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/02/spitzer-discove.html

It is not impossible there are other bodies, indeed earlier proposals remarked on other potential transit features not related to the already identified planets.  But if they had found other objects I suspect they would have been mentioned in the most recent proposals, even if obliquely.

I also don't see why representatives of both Spitzer and Hubble would need to be there.

Also "just" finding more planets doesn't feel to me quite exciting enough for the press conference.

Offline Star One

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That looks to me pure speculation, and I'm not convinced;

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/02/spitzer-discove.html

It is not impossible there are other bodies, indeed earlier proposals remarked on other potential transit features not related to the already identified planets.  But if they had found other objects I suspect they would have been mentioned in the most recent proposals, even if obliquely.

I also don't see why representatives of both Spitzer and Hubble would need to be there.

Also "just" finding more planets doesn't feel to me quite exciting enough for the press conference.

They wouldn't have so many exoplanet atmosphere experts on the panel either.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Though if there are more planets, and there are more simultaneous transits like the double-transit between b and c, there could be opportunities for higher signal-to-noise transmission spectroscopy studies than might otherwise be the case.

Am I right in thinking that the HST is insufficiently sensitive to detect free oxygen in the atmosphere and they will have to wait for JWST to come on line to do this?

That is my understanding, but no doubt i'll be proved wrong.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 05:41 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline jebbo

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That looks to me pure speculation, and I'm not convinced;

I'm not at all convinced. From reading his "source" documents I think he has got confused over HST orbit planning ... and as as58 says, it really doesn't account for the panel composition or the excitement (heck, I've found a 7 planet system; well, helped to :-) )

--- Tony

Offline Star One

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That looks to me pure speculation, and I'm not convinced;

I'm not at all convinced. From reading his "source" documents I think he has got confused over HST orbit planning ... and as as58 says, it really doesn't account for the panel composition or the excitement (heck, I've found a 7 planet system; well, helped to :-) )

--- Tony

It's not impossible that they'll also announce more planets in the system as well. If it was 7 I think that would make it the most heavily populated exo planet solar system.

Offline jebbo

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It's not impossible that they'll also announce more planets in the system as well. If it was 7 I think that would make it the most heavily populated exo planet solar system.

True ... however Kepler-90 (KOI-351) has 7 and HD 10180 has at least 7 and possibly nine, so while unusual, I doubt it would warrant the amount of excitement we're seeing.

Edit: also, if there are additional *transiting* planets, I'd expect them to wait for the K2 campaign 12 release ...

--- Tony
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 06:06 PM by jebbo »

Offline Bynaus

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It's not impossible that they'll also announce more planets in the system as well. If it was 7 I think that would make it the most heavily populated exo planet solar system.

True ... however Kepler-90 (KOI-351) has 7 and HD 10180 has at least 7 and possibly nine, so while unusual, I doubt it would warrant the amount of excitement we're seeing.

--- Tony

I think the excitement - if the rumors are true - would come from the suggestion that 6 of these 7 Earth-sized worlds are in the habitable zone. That would indeed be very interesting, as we could probe how increasing irradiation by the star affects their atmospheres, making that star something of a "Rosetta stone" for Earth-size-exoplanet atmosphere studies.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 06:08 PM by Bynaus »

Offline Star One

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It's not impossible that they'll also announce more planets in the system as well. If it was 7 I think that would make it the most heavily populated exo planet solar system.

True ... however Kepler-90 (KOI-351) has 7 and HD 10180 has at least 7 and possibly nine, so while unusual, I doubt it would warrant the amount of excitement we're seeing.

Edit: also, if there are additional *transiting* planets, I'd expect them to wait for the K2 campaign 12 release ...

--- Tony

I meant extra planets and atmosphere announcements?

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Apparently it is true (I think someone has got their embargo dates wrong);

http://uk.businessinsider.com/earth-size-worlds-seven-trappist-1-2017-2?r=US&IR=T

Offline jebbo

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I think the excitement - if the rumors are true - would come from the suggestion that 6 of these 7 Earth-sized worlds are in the habitable zone. That would indeed be very interesting, as we could probe how increasing irradiation by the star affects their atmospheres, making that star something of a "Rosetta stone" for Earth-size-exoplanet atmosphere studies.

Fair point, and yes, it would definitely be a fantastic test-bed for atmosphere studies!  Personally, I'd still expect them to wait for the campaign 12 data though as it feels unlikely there was enough HST time to well characterise the orbits of 4 presumably longer period candidates.

I guess we'll know in <24 hours.  Exciting stuff!!

Edit: it seems I'm wrong! 

--- Tony
 
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 06:19 PM by jebbo »

Offline Star One

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Apparently it is true (I think someone has got their embargo dates wrong);

http://uk.businessinsider.com/earth-size-worlds-seven-trappist-1-2017-2?r=US&IR=T

Why all the atmosphere experts then? Feels like there should be more to this announcement.

Offline Bubbinski

Might they be announcing both 7 planets and exciting atmosphere results? I'll be tuned in tomorrow!
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline jebbo

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Why all the atmosphere experts then? Feels like there should be more to this announcement.

There clearly is ... the article gives masses for all but "h", so I think they've seen TTVs.  Also, as Bynaus points out, the system is a great laboratory for atmosphere studies.  Probably, the Spitzer and HST campaigns will have put constraints on possible atmospheres as well ...

Anyway, very very exciting! And I'll bet it guarantees Trappist-1 a very early JWST observing slot :-)

Edit: the planets are also resonant:
- d 5:3 resonance w/ c
- e 3:2 resonance w/ d
- f ~3:2 resonance w/ e; ~6:1 resonance w/ b
- g ~4:3 resonance w/ g

--- Tony
« Last Edit: 02/21/2017 07:04 PM by jebbo »

Offline ugordan

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Apparently it is true (I think someone has got their embargo dates wrong);

http://uk.businessinsider.com/earth-size-worlds-seven-trappist-1-2017-2?r=US&IR=T

I'm looking at the animated light curve in that article and wondering what's up with that photon count spike immediately before one of the transits of "b"?

It can't be an atmospheric refraction effect, can it, because it would have been seen with other transits as well. Maybe it's a flare event on the star itself, but the timing seems suspect...

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