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TRAPPIST-1: Atmospheric Recon

14 Feb 2018, 16:00 UTC
TRAPPIST-1: Atmospheric Recon
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Title: Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1Authors: Julien de Wit, Hannah R. Wakeford, Nikole K. Lewis, et al.Lead Author’s Institution: Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USAPublication Status: Published in Nature Astronomy on 5 Feb. 2018 [open access on arXiv]Not too long ago, several Earth-sized planets were found orbiting TRAPPIST-1 (see this astrobite for more details). This star-planet system is exciting not only because it has a few terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zone but also because the system is somewhat close to our own solar system, at a distance of about 12 parsecs. There are seven planets in this system, but the authors of today’s paper focused on the four in the Habitable Zone– d, e, f, and g. An artist’s conception of the TRAPPIST-1 system, as compared to our own inner solar system, can be seen below in Figure 1.Figure 1: This artistic conception (from the NASA Exoplanets website) shows the known planets at relative distance to their star, compared to the inner solar system planets.The authors of today’s paper observed transits of TRAPPIST-1 d, e, f, and g with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Using HST for ...

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