Recently in the TRAPPIST-1 Category

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.

Instabilities in compact planetary systems are generically driven by chaotic dynamics. This implies that an instability time measured through direct N-body integration is not exact, but rather represents a single draw from a distribution of equally valid chaotic trajectories.

As discoveries of terrestrial, Earth-sized exoplanets that lie within the habitable zone of their host stars continue to occur at increasing rates, efforts have began to shift from the detection of these worlds to the characterization of their atmospheres through transit spectroscopy.

Recently, transmission spectroscopy in the atmospheres of the TRAPPIST-1 planets revealed flat and featureless absorption spectra, which rule out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 likely have either a clear or a cloudy/hazy hydrogen-poor atmosphere.

Near-term studies of Venus-like atmospheres with JWST promise to advance our knowledge of terrestrial planet evolution.

The TRAPPIST-1 system, consisting of an ultra-cool host star having seven known Earth-size planets will be a prime target for atmospheric characterization with JWST.