News Release Archive:

News Release 20 of 1057

July 20, 2016 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2016-27

NASA's Hubble Telescope Makes First Atmospheric Study of Earth-Sized Exoplanets


Image: Artist's View of Planets Transiting Red Dwarf Star in TRAPPIST-1 System

Artist's View of Planets Transiting Red Dwarf Star in TRAPPIST-1 SystemSTScI-PRC2016-27a Artist's Concept

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This illustration shows two Earth-sized worlds passing in front of their parent red dwarf star, which is much smaller and cooler than our sun. The planets, TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, reside 40 light-years away. They are between 20 and 100 times closer to their star than Earth is to the sun. Researchers think that at least one of the planets, and possibly both, may be within the star's habitable zone, where moderate temperatures could allow for liquid water on the surface. Hubble looked for evidence of extended atmospheres around both planets and didn't find anything. This leaves open the possibility the planets have thinner, denser atmospheres like Earth's.

Object Name: Trappist-1 System

Image Type: Artwork

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. de Wit (MIT)


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