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TRAPPIST-1: January 2021


A new international study led by astrophysicist Eric Agol from the University of Washington has measured the densities of the seven planets of the exoplanetary system TRAPPIST-1 with extreme precision, the values obtained indicating very similar compositions for all the planets.

Context. Planetary mass and radius data are showing a wide variety in densities of low-mass exoplanets. This includes sub-Neptunes, whose low densities can be explained with the presence of a volatile-rich layer. Water is one of the most abundant volatiles, which can be in the form of different phases depending on the planetary surface conditions.