The Solar system has a competitor

© Photo : NASA/JPL-CaltechТак the artist has imagined the planet TRAPPIST-1f, the closest candidate for the role of twin EarthThe Solar system has a competitor© Photo : NASA/JPL-CaltechПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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The star TRAPPIST-1 discovered seven planets very similar to Earth. Everything is covered with a dense atmosphere and have huge reserves of liquid water. Despite the hard radiation from a red dwarf star, scientists believe these celestial bodies are the most promising for searches of life.

The closest family of exoplanets

Star TRAPPIST-1 in the constellation of Aquarius is located just 39 light years from us. It is a red dwarf, a very small and cold compared to the Sun, moderately active. In 2016, astronomers have discovered three orbiting planets. Their drives against the background stars fixed orbital and ground-based telescopes.

A year later, the system detected four planets. They are all the size of the Earth, but because low-mass stars (eight percent the mass of the Sun) located supercompactor. The diameter of the planetary system TRAPPIST-1, named, incidentally, after «seeing» her Belgian telescope, located in Chile, is only 0.06 distance from the Sun to the Earth (one astronomical unit).

In the system of TRAPPIST-1 is best known to date, earth-like, potentially habitable planets. The periods of their revolution around the star is a multiple of each other that allows to speak about the longest chain resonances — planet periodically converging.

In the opening of this amazing planetary system was attended by Russian scientists — Artem Burdanov of the Ural Federal University and Alexei Chushev, graduate student, University of Leicester (UK).

Scientists believe that the abundance of water speaks of the outlying origin of the planets and then to migrate them closer to the star. It is possible that they gradually changed their order. Another hypothesis is that water on the planet brought the comets that bombarded them heavily at the initial stage of formation of the system.

Next to the star TRAPPIST-1b, c and d too hot to retain liquid water. The seventh planet, TRAPPIST-1h, too cold. Liquid water on its surface is only possible because of the heating of the subsurface from tidal effects, or due to the well-preserved, rich in hydrogen primary day.

The most interesting for astronomers — three middle of the planet. TRAPPIST-1e entirely of stone, but there in short supply of volatile components and water. In comparison with neighbors is a dry planet, resembles a large mercury lost it’s atmosphere and mantle because of the impact of a celestial body much larger than himself.

Planet f, the most likely surrounded by earth-like atmosphere under which lurk in the oceans. However, the proximity of neighbors can play a cruel joke created during convergence of the planets tidal effect warms the bowels, and instead of water on the surface of the raging huge oceans of magma.

In the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which is on the night side forms an ice cap. According to one scenario, some planets have a strong greenhouse effect, which reduces the likelihood of finding life there.

In the near future, scientists hope to discover the eighth planet from the TRAPPIST-1 and is now actively predict its orbit. Hopes for a space telescope named James Webb, the launch is scheduled for 2021. Until then, almost all the details of the composition and origin of the planets will remain very hypothetical, a scenario that happens in the atmosphere and on the surface, can be wrong.

© ESO/M. Complet the artist has imagined the planet TRAPPIST-1d and her two «cousins»The Solar system has a competitor© ESO/M. Complet the artist has imagined the planet TRAPPIST-1d and her two «cousins»