The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Zone

Spitzer_ssc2017-01h_500

spitzer_ssc2017-01h February 22nd, 2017

Credit:

The TRAPPIST-1 system contains a total of seven planets, all around the size of Earth.Three of them -- TRAPPIST-1e, f and g -- dwell in their stars so-called habitable zone. The habitable zone, or Goldilocks zone, is a band around every star (shown here in green) where astronomers have calculated that temperatures are just right -- not too hot, not too cold -- for liquid water to pool on the surface of an Earth-like world.

While TRAPPIST-1b, c and d are too close to be in the systems likely habitable zone, and TRAPPIST-1h is too far away, the planets discoverers say more optimistic scenarios could allow any or all of the planets to harbor liquid water. In particular, the strikingly small orbits of these worlds make it likely that most, if not all of them, perpetually show the same face to their star, the way our moon always shows the same face to the Earth. This would result in an extreme range of temperatures from the day to night sides, allowing for situations not factored into the traditionalhabitable zonedefinition. The illustrations shown for the various planets depict a range of possible scenarios of what they could look like.

The system has been revealed through observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at Caltech/IPAC. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6294-ssc2017-01h-The-TRAPPIST-1-Habitable-Zone

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Details

Image Type
Chart
Object Name
TRAPPIST-1
Subject - Milky Way
Planet » Type » Terrestrial

Distance

Universescale1
40 light years
Spitzer_ssc2017-01h_1280
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ID
ssc2017-01h
Subject Category
B.1.1.1  
Subject Name
TRAPPIST-1
Credits
Type
Chart
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2017-01h.tif
Metadata Date
2017-02-22
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
40 light years