Trappist 1: The Goldilocks Star

628 Words3 Pages
A star that goes by the name of Trappist 1 (named after the small telescope in Chile TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope–South)has orbiting planets in the constellation Aquarius. Trappist 1 is about 40 light years away from Earth and is 12 times less the size of the sun but only a little bit bigger than Jupiter. Out of these seven planets, three of them are best suited for life. These planets are part of the Goldilocks Zone, they have the right amount of energy from their host star that oceans could exist. A group of astronomers found these planets by using a method called the transit method of planetary detection. These astronomers were focusing on finding evidence of planets around small dwarf stars, they observed the changing…show more content…
The planets B, C, and D are too close to the star and would be very hot. The planet H is too far away from Trappist 1 and would be to cold. That 's why the planets E, F, and G are considered to be in the Goldilocks Zone, because they are not too hot and not too cold. Not just the Goldilocks Zone planets but the others to are the almost the same size as Earth or Venus. All seven planets are also rocky (like Earth), and have traces of frozen or liquid water. These planets were easy for the astronomers to analyze because the orbital periods are all less than 12 days. The orbital period of a planet depends upon the mass of its star and the planet 's distance from the star. Although the only evidence for these planets is the dimming of Trappist 1, there is still quite a bit the astronomers know about them. To begin with, the size of a planet determines the amount of dimming during a transit. Larger planets block more of the star, and therefore the dip in brightness is larger. Knowing the size of Trappist 1, the astronomers could measure the transit dimming due to each planet to determine its size. (According to the Planetary society Transit dimming is a method for Finding Earth 's. This method detects distant planets by measuring the minute dimming of a star as an orbiting planet passes between it and the Earth. The passage of a planet between a star and the Earth is called a "transit.”) This is how they know all seven

More about Trappist 1: The Goldilocks Star

Open Document