TRAPPIST-1: June 2017

Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface.

A University of Oklahoma post-doctoral astrophysics researcher, Billy Quarles, has identified the possible compositions of the seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

Cool dwarf stars are hot targets for exoplanet hunting right now. The discoveries of planets in the habitable zones of the TRAPPIST-1 and LHS 1140 systems, for example, suggest that Earth-sized worlds might circle billions of red dwarf stars, the most common type of star in our galaxy.