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Can We Look Forward to Vacations on TRAPPIST-1?

1 Jul 2020, 13:00 UTC
Can We Look Forward to Vacations on TRAPPIST-1?
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This guest post was written by Payal Shah, an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut, for an assignment in the Fall 2019 Foundations of Modern Astrophysics class taught by Professor Cara Battersby. Payal is a Computer Science major and is double minoring in Astrophysics and Math. Payal’s biggest aspiration, besides getting a dog, is to find life. When not dreaming about that or caught up in schoolwork, you can find Payal playing volleyball, watching Avatar: the Last Airbender, or playing RPGs.
Orange hues of sunset dousing every mountain and valley as celestial bodies from the same solar system rise unbelievably huge in the sky — life on a TRAPPIST-1 planet wouldn’t be too far off from this. Discovered in 1999, TRAPPIST-1 was originally called 2Mass J23062928-0502285 since it was uncovered using the ​Two Micron All-Sky Survey​, or 2Mass for short. Later, in May 2016, scientists located three planets orbiting the star using transit photometry with the TRANsiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope or TRAPPIST. This led to the 2017 discovery of four more exoplanets orbiting the host star with the ​Spitzer Space Telescope​ and the – I kid not – ​Very Large Telescope​ at Paranal among a few more. ...

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