Saturday 19th of August 2017

Follow Us

Breaking News

TRAPPIST-1 twice as old as our solar system

Washington,Aug 12:-- Astronomers have narrowed in on a more precise estimate of the TRAPPIST-1 system.

 

Scientists believe the star and its exoplanets are between 5.4 and 9.8 billion years old -- as much as twice as old as our solar system. The sun was born 4.5 billion years ago.

 

In February, NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf located 40 light-years away. Three of the seven planets are located within the star's habitable zone.

 

The habitable zone, however, doesn't guarantee habitability, it simply defines a range of orbital distances at which water could in theory exist as a liquid.

 

Because all seven of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets are bunched close to their host star, some astronomers have suggested solar flares could burn away any liquid water. Others have shared concerns that the planetary orbits of the TRAPPIST-1 system are unstable.

 

But the latest age estimate suggests the planetary system is relatively stable. If the planets' orbits weren't stable, the system would have likely collapsed a few billion years ago.

 

"Our results really help constrain the evolution of the TRAPPIST-1 system, because the system has to have persisted for billions of years," Adam Burgasser, an astronomer at the University of California, San Diego, said in a news release. "This means the planets had to evolve together, otherwise the system would have fallen apart long ago."

 

While it is still possible the lengthy exposure to solar radiation could have burned away the atmospheres and surface liquids on the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the new age estimates suggest the star is rather old. Aging cool dwarfs are typically less volatile and feature fewer violent flares.

 

The system's seniority means the planets have had plenty of time to potentially evolve life, but it also means said life would have had to survive a diverse array of disruptions.

 

"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.

 

Astronomers reevaluated the TRAPPIST-1's age after measuring the speed at which the system is traveling through the Milky Way. Older stars are faster. They also studied the star's atmosphere as well as the frequency of its flares. All three factors suggest the system is significantly older than our solar system.

Related Sci & Tech News

NASA study finds drought recoveries taking longer

Washington, Aug 17:-- As global temperatures continue to rise, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe in many regions during this century.   A new study with NASA participation finds that land ecosystems took progressively longer to recover from droughts in the 20th century, a....

Disruptioneering: Streamlining the Process of Scientific Discovery

Washington,Aug 16:-- DARPA's Defense Sciences Office (DSO) has announced the first programs under its new Disruptioneering effort, which pushes for faster identification and exploration of bold and risky ideas with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery.   Under the new concept, DSO prog....

Google doodles to celebrate India's Independence Day

Mumbai, Aug 15 :-- A special paper-cut style doodle decorated the homepage of popular search engine Google on Tuesday to mark India's Independence Day.   The doodle has been designed by Mumbai-based artist Sabeena Karnik.   It is depicting one of the India's most significant and iconic bui....

Moon's magnetic field lasted far longer than once believed

New Delhi,Aug 15:-- The moon's magnetic field lasted 1 billion to 2.5 billion years longer than once thought - a finding with important implications for habitability on other moons and planets throughout the universe, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor says.   "The Earth's magnet....

NASA's Cassini spacecraft set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn

Washington,Aug 11:-- NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn, before the probe plunges into the atmosphere of the ringed planet and ends its epic 20-year-long journey.   The spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Gra....

Links
Contact
Editor :
Jagadananda Pradhan
Email :
fastmailmedia@gmail.com
fastmail@yahoo.com
Mob :(+91) 9437155542
Ph : 06764 223911
Contact Us
© 2015 Fast Mail Media Pvt Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Developed by : FM Media Pvt Ltd.