Are the TRAPPIST-1 Planets Home to Life?

Are the TRAPPIST-1 Planets Home to Life?


These alien worlds, about 40 light-years away
from Earth, are believed to be the most likely place for biological life beyond our solar
system. TRAPPIST-1 is a dwarf star with at least seven
exoplanets orbiting around it. The full system was discovered in 2017, and
it marked a monumental milestone for astrophysics, because at the time, it was the greatest number
of Earth-like planets ever found around a single star. We now know more about this planetary system
than any other beyond our own, and it could help us understand the potential for other
life in our universe. Astronomers first discovered TRAPPIST-1 in 1999. They classified it as an ultra-cool dwarf
star, which means its temperature is low enough that liquid water could likely survive on
planets orbiting very close to it. Over a decade later, scientists discovered
the star was host to three exoplanets using the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small
Telescope aka TRAPPIST. And then, after about a year, NASA’s Spitzer
Space Telescope helped reveal even more exoplanets. Scientists realized that the TRAPPIST-1 system
also set a new record for the greatest number of planets in the so-called habitable zone. Experts say that almost every normal star
has a habitable zone, which is the range of distance from its star where temperatures
are right for water to remain liquid. Four of the seven TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets are
in this zone. Well, technically the jury’s still out on
where planet d lies, which is an indication of just how new this discovery is. The Hubble Space Telescope conducted
a spectroscopic survey to learn more about the habitability of the planets. It revealed that planets d, e and f don’t
seem to have puffy, hydrogen-rich atmospheres like gas giants. This is good news in the search for life because
hydrogen is a greenhouse gas and can make planets orbiting close to their parent star
too hot and thus inhospitable. Planets d, e and f instead appear to have
atmospheres similar to terrestrial or rocky planets. So far, scientists consider planet e to be
the most Earth-like in terms of its estimated radius, mass and the amount of radiation that
it receives from its host star, and they believe, of all the planets, it’s the most likely to
have liquid water on its surface. That’s not to say the other TRAPPIST-1 planets
are devoid of water. In fact, researchers found that some of the
planets could have as much as 250 times more water than Earth. But too much water may be a bad thing. Planets with too much water likely don’t have
any land and thus lack important geochemical or elemental cycles necessary for sustaining
complex organisms. The thing is, the TRAPPIST-1 system is such
a fresh discovery and there is still so much we have to learn. Astronomers are looking to the upcoming James
Webb Space Telescope to help better understand these alien worlds. Unlike Spitzer, Hubble and Kepler, the Webb
telescope has extended wavelength coverage that will be able to detect atmospheric properties
of the planets with greater precision. But the new telescope won’t begin its cosmic
journey until the 2020s, so in the meantime, astronomers will have to get creative to uncover
more about TRAPPIST-1’s life harboring potential. If you’re looking to learn more about space exploration and astronomical phenomena be sure to watch this episode of Space Crafts. And don’t forget to subscribe to Seeker for all things science. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Are the TRAPPIST-1 Planets Home to Life?”

  1. The model of the planets shown in the video is incorrect according to information from NASA because the planets are so close to their star that they are all tidally locked.
    Therefore, all of them will have a point close to Trappist 1 where water is boiling and being pushed by radiation to the eternal twilight zones of each planet where the water condenses into rain and snow. Therefore all of the planets that have water in the system are guaranteed to have a sea and land, even the water worlds will have land in the form of glaciers from the eternal twilight zones to the eternal darkness parts.
    This also has the implication that all seven planets have the necessary qualities for complex life, even if that life is mostly plankton, fish, penguins and Inuit-equivalents.

  2. To be frank everything we now is the past in universe…..as light takes time to reach earth .i think our perceptions are very less…..we have to enhance them

  3. Yeah but every report or scientific study shows that Earth like planets are basically impossible around Red dwarf stars

  4. Around any red dwarf star probably cannot exist any life except extremophile microbes. These stars are emitting flares of gigantic energy that no complex organism can survive. Probably the planets around this dwarf do not even have an atmosphere. Like on Mars, Trappist 1 planets they lost their atmospheres due to the action of the star wind from frequent energy flashes, even if they have magnetic fields.

    So, this material is a gross clickbait or you better make more complex researches before publishing.

  5. You just killed us all yet again, right there at the end, with the realization that the James web is still years away…zzz…it's getting tiresome, the constant delays…
    @ElonMusk #ElonMusk #Elon @Elon do something!!! (How do you send the iron-bat symbol?)

  6. Liquid water may not even be required to harbour life, biological life could simply be a consequence of any chemical regime if conditions are stable for long enough.

  7. Well, the trouble with finding habitable planets is that you not only have to find them in the right place but in the right time. One of those planets may have been bursting with life billions of years ago, or won’t be bursting with life until billions of years into the future. Just look at earth’s history. It had a long physical history before life developed. Imagine an alien looking at our planet before life even formed and thinking “nope not habitable. Our radars aren’t capturing any readings.” Well, they observed the planet way too early. And look at us now, billions of years later and life is flourishing. Same goes for any future planet that might exist. It’s theoretically possible that there’s going to be (or already has been) a planet that will give rise to complex life but its host star hasn’t even been born yet. Chew on that for a while. There could be a habitable planet in the making right now but it won’t happen until far in the future. And likewise, many habitable planets have probably already came and went. Maybe even a super advanced interplanetary race came and went bullions of years ago before us. That’s a fun thought. We always forget that the expense of time may keep us forever separated from these things. Advanced beings on the other side of the universe could have been mastering nuclear chemistry and particle physics when our star hadn’t even formed yet. Mind blowing.

  8. Wouldn’t it be funny if we had super high resolution telescopes and we found a planet that had advanced aliens and we knew they were advanced because they were sending satellites into orbit. So we put together a space mission to go there and as we get closer and closer to them we watch in real time the demise of their planet. We take readings and see that the atmosphere is filling up with CO2 and the planet is warming and by the time we get there everything was killed off by heat, plagues and famine? That would suck.

  9. I can say this, the answer is no. Why can I say that, because I'm not a scientist, I have right to state an opinion, and also because this ain't a formal talk. We're viewers , BS'ing. So, the answer is, no. No, they don't have water, because they don't.
    If I was being serious, esp if this was a formal talk, then I'd say, honestly, it's likely, based on what little facts I have on the planets. But, that, the response, also includes some wishful thinking.
    Or, if I was telling a little kid, and trying to maintain an optimistic view with them, I'd say, it probably does, and be smiling.
    But, no , it don't.!

  10. We're just finding out, tho the Bible said this 4 thousand years ago, that our Planet has more water in the Earth than on top, We're not even remotely close to finding anything about Trapist 1, the egotistical self-righteous know-it-all's Scientist will never find the truth about this system,.

  11. BUT… it's orbiting a red dwarf star; a universal feature about red dwarfs are violent outbursts and mega flares. If Earth orbited a red dwarf in the habitable zone it would take a single mega flare to sterilize half the planet facing it, and the collapsing ecosystem would surely doom the other half. Let's not delude ourselves, our solar system, the Earth, is a rare Eden like phenomenon that we're not likely to find anywhere in the nearby neighbourhood. The odds of humanity spreading out and colonizing other worlds before the next extinction event are bleak. So, our priorities in the long run should be clear, let's not screw up Earth while we look to the stars.

  12. There’s nothing there. If anything was true about the movie Interstellar it was the fact that even if by some miracle we can manage to leave our solar system without dying and somehow manage to survive deep space all we would find were uninhabitable planets.

    Unless the conditions are exactly like earth your not going to find earth like life. The exact gravity, water, atmosphere, size and age of the sun, gas giants to protect life, and the time for life to actually form must be the same as our solar system or nothing happens. That’s what science tells us.

    At best humanity will end up contaminating space and killing everything it finds through stupidity about its own biology and evolution.

  13. I'm getting increasingly irate at the fact that all of these videos have one major flaw in them. And that is they all assume that life can only exist in the way that we know it, i.e. Carbon based biological life that needs water to survive.

    For all we know there could be life out there that needs liquid nitrogen to survive and produces 20 karat diamonds as waste.

    My point is that all of these videos talking about finding alien life are very naive and even more stubborn and shortsighted.

  14. I hope the planets get a decent name instead of TRAPPIST-1b to TRAPPIST-1h
    I suggest
    TRAPPIST-1b –> Westvleteren
    TRAPPIST-1c –> Westmalle
    TRAPPIST-1d –> Rochefort
    TRAPPIST-1e –> Orval
    TRAPPIST-1f –> Chimey
    TRAPPIST-1g –> Achel
    TRAPPIST-1h –> Zundert

  15. What about the afterlife? I’ve read/watched NDE stories about people being clinically dead, yet there still self-aware, even more aware. How r they possibly still living, or feel more alive? They’re biologically deceased. How do you scientifically explain this paranormal phenomenon. I think it’s time for scientist to not only go beyond earth, but beyond physical life.

  16. Good video but they forgot to mention that all these planets are probably tidally locked meaning only one side faces the star at all times. This is like our moon orbiting earth. Still, oceans may help distribute heat more evenly on a global scale through convection currents even on tidally locked world’s like Trappist b-h.

  17. Wait if it’s 40 light years the light receiving the telescope is actually 40 years old meaning that the things we discover about the planets are 40years older 0_0

  18. Understanding this system would give us a chance to explore the possibility of Panspermia. 4 planets the habitable zone would allow us to compare any life we find on any of them.

  19. "without a universal law there is no gravity
    Without a gravity there is no atmosphere
    Without an atmosphere there is no chance at life
    And with no chance at life…i don't exist."

  20. Forgot to mention that it really isn't the most likely place because red dwarfs have a tendency to suddenly have flares that bathe the planets in radiation.

  21. Red Dwarfs are not particularly ideal for life. Their "close-in" habitable zone (enough heat but not too much) leads to huge amounts of X-Rays and extreme UV radiation. That, along with high energy particles from coronal mass ejections would likely "blow away" the oxygen in the atmosphere in just a few million years. This is "fake news" NASA is fully aware of the above and there are many articles on their website stating as much.

  22. This continuos talking about alien life is getting rather annoying. The more we advance with technology and therefore we can confirm that life elsewhere is inexistance, the more we talk about aliens. Are we really so delusional?
    When are we going to talk about science again, like we used to do in the 70s, in the 80s and in the 90s?

  23. I'm not a scientist, so relax. But, why is it hard to believe there is life out there besides us? How many planets are out there? Why would they need Earths conditions for them to survive? Maaaaaybe, there is a planet with life, that doesn't follow Earths "rules". We breathe oxygen, but maybe they breathe Carbon Dioxide. We drink water, maybe they "drink" some other substance. Seems to me, it would be completely foolish to think other planets need Earth-like conditions to maintain life.

  24. Just wanted to say that I love your videos. Space exploration is amazing and I learn a great deal about it because of your channel.

  25. Wtf did you just imply? That complex organisms must be formed on landmasses? I hope I misunderstood, because that is fucking absurd.

  26. Haha, sometimes its funny when you think about interstellar travel. The insterstellar travel will only available when We are immortal. That is when Jesus Christ come for the 2nd time, because He have told us in the bible that He go to the place that human can't go for now, but He assures that we will be there in the future. So the thing is don't dreaming about these impossible things right now, just Believe in Jesus and one day we will be there. Just trust Him.

  27. We’re going home lads we’re going home 🙌🏾 Humanity stand up🙌🏾 now the thing is if we see aliens are we gonna live in peace with them or turn them into slaves👀

  28. How about we work on the funding of building colonies outside of our planet before we worry about what other extremely distant star system can house us, yeah?

  29. Except, a paper published recently suggests that magnetic induction from the super-cool dwarf star might render the four planets within the star's habitable zone uninhabitable. Basically, they'd have seas of molten lava, if this particular paper ends up being accurate.

  30. Can y’all imagine how exciting it would be if we capture one of these planets show a sign of intelligent life? Webb’s telescope will be even more advanced than the Hubble telescope, and even the Hubble allowed us to capture things far away and with good detail.

    I can imagine us capturing one of the planets showing light patterns like cities. But then again, that’s just my guess.

  31. Whenever NASA launch the James Webb telescope, It could get a closer view of the Trappist one planetary system.
    II could study the atmospheres of these planets for bio signatures the ingredients for life.

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