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Exoplanet Discovery: The 7 Earth-Sized Planets of TRAPPIST-1 in Pictures

TRAPPIST-1: A Star with 7 Earths?

ESO/M. Kornmesser/spaceengine.org

On Feb. 22, 2017, scientists announced the discovery of TRAPPIST-1, an alien solar system with at least seven Earth-sized planets. See pictures of the discovery here. Read the Full Story.

Artist's impression of the cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 and its exoplanets, which lie 39 light-years from Earth.

TRAPPIST-1 System

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system range in mass from 75 percent to 110 percent that of Earth. At least three of the worlds likely have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to exist, scientists say.

TRAPPIST-1 Orbit Diagram

ESO/O. Furtak

Diagram of the orbits of the TRAPPIST-1 worlds, compared to those of Jupiter's Galilean moons, Mercury, Venus and Earth.

View from the Surface of a TRAPPIST-1 Planet

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist's impression of the view from the surface from one of the seven Earth-size planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

TRAPPIST-1 Planets and the Solar System's Rocky Worlds

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Characteristics of the seven TRAPPIST-1 worlds, compared to the rocky planets in our solar system.

2016 Discovery: 3 TRAPPIST-1 Planets

ESO

In 2016, astronomers announced the discovery of three Earth-size worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Additional observation upped eventually upped that tally to seven.

TRAPPIST-1 Planet: Surface View

ESO

Another artist's impression of the view from a TRAPPIST-1 planet's surface.

TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System: Artist's Concept

NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI) and J. de Wit (MIT)

Artist's illustration of two Earth-size exoplanets crossing the face of the dim star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth.

TRAPPIST-1 System: Size Comparison

Amanda Smith/IoA

Diagram showing the sizes of the TRAPPIST-1 star and planets, compared to objects in our own solar system. The star TRAPPIST-1 is only slightly bigger than Jupiter.

Energy Fluxes in TRAPPIST-1 System

Amanda Smith/IoA

Diagram showing how much stellar energy the TRAPPIST-1 planets receive, compared to worlds in our own solar system.

TRAPPIST-1 System from Above

Amanda Smith/IoA

The orbits of the seven TRAPPIST-1 planets. The relative sizes of the planets are correct, but on a different scale to their distance to the star.

Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.

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