An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, used data gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope to observe and confirm details of the outermost of seven exoplanets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1.
An international team of astronomers has found a system of seven potentially habitable planets orbiting a star 39 light years away three of which could have water on their surfaces raising the possibility they could host life. Using ground and space telescopes, the team identified the planets as they passed in front of the ultracool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. The star is around eight per cent of the mass of the Sun and is no bigger than Jupiter.
Three Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a dim and cool star, and may be the best place to search for life beyond the Solar System.
Astronomers have detected wildly changing temperatures on a super Earth – the first time any atmospheric variability has been observed on a rocky planet outside the solar system – and believe it could be due to huge amounts of volcanic activity, further adding to the mystery of what had been nicknamed the ‘diamond planet’.