Recently in the TRAPPIST-1 Category

The nearby ultracool dwarf TRAPPIST-1 possesses several Earth-sized terrestrial planets, three of which have equilibrium temperatures that may support liquid surface water, making it a compelling target for exoplanet characterization. TRAPPIST-1 is an active star with frequent flaring, with implications for the habitability of its planets.

With more than 1000 hours of observation from Feb 2016 to Oct 2019, the Spitzer Exploration Program Red Worlds (ID: 13067, 13175 and 14223) exclusively targeted TRAPPIST-1, a nearby (12pc) ultracool dwarf star orbited by seven transiting Earth-sized planets, all well-suited for a detailed atmospheric characterization with the upcoming JWST.

The nearby TRAPPIST-1 planetary system is an exciting target for characterizing the atmospheres of terrestrial planets. The planets e, f and g lie in the circumstellar habitable zone and could sustain liquid water on their surfaces.

Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope have determined that the Earth-like planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are not significantly misaligned with the rotation of the star.

Exoplanets residing close to their stars can experience evolution of both their physical structures and their orbits due to the influence of their host stars.

Upcoming telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), or the Extremely Large Telescope (ELTs), may soon be able to characterize, through transmission, emission or reflection spectroscopy, the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets orbiting nearby M dwarfs.

In an effort to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for the TRAPPIST-1 system, we performed high-resolution spectroscopy during transits of planets e, f, and b.

The TRAPPIST-1 JWST Community Initiative

The upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) combined with the unique features of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system should enable the young field of exoplanetology to enter into the realm of temperate Earth-sized worlds.

Transit Timing Variations, or TTVs, can be a very efficient way of constraining masses and eccentricities of multi-planet systems. Recent measurements of the TTVs of TRAPPIST-1 led to an estimate of the masses of the planets, enabling an estimate of their densities.

TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf hosting a system consisting of seven planets. While orbital properties, radii and masses of the planets are nowadays well constrained, one of the open fascinating issues is the possibility that an environment hospitable to life could develop on some of these planets.