12–14 September 2017
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Scientists Use Hubble To Discover Signs Of Water On Trappist-1 Planets

1 September 2017
CNET News reports that scientists have discovered indications of substantial amounts of water on three planets in the “Goldilocks” habitable zone around the Trappist-1 star, according to research published Thursday in the Astronomical Journal. Scientists used photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope to estimate how heat and ultraviolet radiation from the “ultracool star” may have affected the planets’ atmospheres. The team’s scientists theorize that the planets may have formed further away from their current orbits, allowing them to collect and store ice crystals. Study co-author and MIT Postdoctoral Researcher Julien de Wit said that the planets may “have been able to hold onto some water, if they accumulated enough during their formation. But we need to gather more information and actually see a hint of water, which we haven’t found yet.” The researchers plan to use Hubble to look for hydrogen clouds, which would further strengthen the case for bodies of water on the three planets. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (CNET News)

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