Recent data on the atmosphere of one of the system’s exoplanets, Trappist-1, lead scientists to believe that it is in him that they can find extraterrestrial life. They will, however, only be certain of this speculation around 2018, with the help of the new NASA telescope.
Trappist-1 may have an atmosphere that envelops it millions of millions of years ago and this is one of the most planet-sized planets of all that orbit a red star in the constellation Aquarius. This system of seven planets was discovered in February of this year. Trappist-1 has an ideal temperature and radiation levels to allow the existence of liquid water at the surface and the new data points to the existence of a Atmosphere around the planet, all these factors make of Trappist-1g, the main bet of scientists to find extraterrestrial life.
However, to be more certain about the existence of this atmosphere, we must wait for the launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for the year 2018.
Just as complex life on planet Earth depends on the existence of an atmosphere with an exact amount of certain gases (such as oxygen or nitrogen) and that persists over millions of years, so does the composition and equilibrium of an Atmosphere in Trappist-1g, is an indispensable condition to find extraterrestrial life in this world located 39 light years from the Solar System. While waiting for the launch of NASA’s telescope, scientists have now turned to virtual models of the Trappist-1 system to find out if there were any planets around that star that would have a very stable atmosphere. By focusing on the stellar winds (highly energetic particles scattered by the star) and their effect on the seven planets of the habitable zone, scientists have come to some conclusions.
They also discovered that the atmospheres of the other planets in the Trappist-1 habitability zone cannot survive the stellar winds because they are much denser and faster than the Sun’s. Trappist-1b, the first of the planets, is Hit by stellar winds a thousand to ten thousand times stronger than those that hit our planet Earth. A few million years would be enough to destroy the atmospheres of the first planets around Trappist-1. The sixth exoplanet, Trappist-1g, is far enough away to maintain an atmosphere resistant to stellar winds, but close enough to have a mild temperature to allow liquid water to exist on the surface (the seventh planet, Trappist-1f, is too Cold and also could not bear life, is already too far from the star) being an exception.
“The outer planets of the Trappist-1 system, which must maintain their atmospheres for longer periods of time, can therefore support more complex biospheres”, the researchers report in the Cornell University Library. However, this depends on many factors. For example, the atmospheres of the planets of the Trappist-1 system are expected to be denser the further they are from the star, so one must understand if the atmosphere of Trappist-1g is not too dense.