Update for Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m: NASA has found 7 Earth-size planets orbiting a single star, with 3 of the worlds in the star's habitable zone! NASA's webcast on the discovery has concluded. Read Our Full Story: Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star
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- TRAPPIST-1 System Has 7 Earth-Sized Exoplanets, 3 In Habitable Zone
- TRAPPIST-1 is ‘Most Incredible Star System to Date’ - 5 Amazing Facts
- TRAPPIST-1 Planets Tidally Locked to Star, Have Short Orbits
- Planet Hunter: Spitzer Space Telescope TRAPPIST-1 Data Explained
NASA is holding a news conference tomorrow (Feb. 22) to discuss "new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets," according to a statement from the agency.
The news conference begins at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT). No other specifics about the "new findings" have been made public, but "details … are embargoed by the journal Nature" until 1 p.m. EST, according to the statement.
The news conference will feature five speakers: Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters; Michaël Gillon, astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium; Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena; Nikole Lewis, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore; and Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sara Seager is a leading exoplanet scientist who, among other things, is working on the problem of how to identify bio signatures in exoplanet atmospheres. The Space Telescope Science Institute is an astronomical research center as well as the mission operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope.
Following the news conference, the five scientists will participate in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT), in which members of the public can pose questions to the scientists via a Reddit message board.