The Outermost Planet of TRAPPIST-1 is Observed in Detail; Based on Data from Keppler Telescope

By Menahem, Zen | May 23, 2017 02:14 PM EDT

The Keppler telescope has successfully gathered data of the TRAPPIST-1 extra orbital planetary system, enabling astronomers to observe the outermost planet, TRAPPIST-1h in full details. The TRAPPIST-1h planet is the one with a similar size of the Earth.

Astronomers have confirmed the orbital details of TRAPPIST-1h planet as reported by the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday, May 22. TRAPPIST-1h was previously the least understood planet in its planetary system, as it is also the outermost planet.

Now, using the data from Keppler telescope, the TRAPPIST-1h planet has been confirmed to orbit its star every 19 days. Since the planet is situated six million miles from its cool dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1h is located beyond the outer edge of the habitable zone. In term of energy, the amount of energy per unit area on the planet is equal to the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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A doctoral student from the University of Washington, Rodrigo Luger is the lead author of the research. The research has also been published in the in the journal Nature Astronomy on May 22, with the title "A seven-planet resonant chain in TRAPPIST-1."

“TRAPPIST-1h was exactly where our team predicted it to be,” Luger said about his observation on the planet. "There are usually surprises around every corner, but theory and observation matched perfectly in this case.”

During his observation of the TRAPPIST-1h, Luger and his team use the 79 days of observation data from K2, the second mission of the Kepler Space Telescope. They were able to observe and study the four transits of TRAPPIST-1h orbiting its star.

The planetary system TRAPPIST-1 is 40 light years away or 235 trillion miles away from the Earth, in the constellation of Aquarius. The star is much cooler than our Sun, and only a little larger than Jupiter. While its outermost planet, the TRAPPIST-1h has a similar mass with the Earth. Watch the report from NASA regarding the discovery of TRAPPIST-1 planetary system below:

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