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Study concludes: Trappist-1 star system has more possibilities of life than EARTH


[Artwork depicting the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system by ESO/M. Kornmesser/spaceengine.org]

描繪TRAPPIST-1 星系的藝術作品。圖片來源:ESO/M. Kornmesser/spaceengine.org



One of the most important factors in the Trappist-1 system is the distance between its planets. Astronomer concluded that the seven Earth-like planets orbiting Trappist-1 are positioned significantly close to one another. In fact, all seven planets could fit in the distance from Mercury to Mars.  According to scientists, this facilitates the transfer of organic molecules from one celestial body to another, a phenomenon known by scientists as panspermia.




Is this the ultimate piece of evidence which could prove there is life outside our solar system? Scientists at Harvard University have calculated the chances of life in a star system composed of 7 planets recently discovered by NASA.

According to new studies of the trappist-1 star system located 39 light years from Earth, the seven Earth-like planets have more chances of containing life than Earth. Earth is so far the only place in the universe where we know there is life, does this mean that Trappist-1 must definitely be home to aliens?

Astrophysicists at Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center have just determined that the probability of life in the new TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet system is higher than on Earth, as reported in a recently published study.


這難道是證明太陽系外有生命的最終證據嗎?哈佛大學的科學家們已經計算出這新發現的Trappist-1 星系含有生命的機率。這最近被NASA 發現的星系由七顆行星組成。根據對trappist-1星系的新研究,此星系距離地球有39 光年遠,組成它的七顆行星比地球更具有生命可能性。地球是我們目前所知在宇宙中唯一有生命的地方,難道這表示Trappist-1鐵定是外星人的家嗎?


在最近刊登的研究報告中,哈佛大學和哈佛-史密松天體物理中心(Harvard-Smithsonian Center)和的天體物理學家們已經確定這新發現的TRAPPIST-1系外行星系統具有比地球還高的生命可能性。


The close proximity of the TRAPPIST-1 planets is reminiscent of an analogous environment (albeit at much smaller scales) on the Earth, namely islands. If we look uponthe habitable planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system as ‘islands’, the similarities are readily apparent: although these ‘islands’ are isolated to a degree, they are also subject to ‘immigration’ from the ‘mainland’. In planetary terms, this ‘immigration’ would essentially amount to transfer of lifeforms (or genetic material) via panspermia.” (Source)


TRAPPIST-1行星間的近距離讓人聯想到地球上相似的島嶼環境(雖然是在小很多的規模裡)。如果我們把TRAPPIST-1星系中的行星當作島嶼,它們之間的相似處就顯而易見了。雖然這些”島嶼在某種程度上是孤立的,但它們的“ 移民“ 都是從主島來的。用行星的角度來說,這種“       移民“ 實際上就是生命形式(或遺傳物質)的轉移,也就是泛種論的內容。」(來源


In February of 2017, NASA scientists discovered a new planetary system beyond our star system. The discovery changed everything we knew about exoplanets and chances of finding alien life in the universe.

Around a cold dwarf star dubbed as TRAPPIST-1, located in the constellation of Aquarius—39 light years from our planet—experts found seven Earth-sized planets that may contain water. At least three of them could have massive Earth-like oceans.

2017 年二月,NASA 的科學家們發現一個位於我們太陽系外的新星系。這個發現顛覆了我們對系外行星的看法、在宇宙中發現外星生命的機率。這顆被稱為TRAPPIST-1的冷矮星位在水瓶座,距離地球39 光年遠,專家們發現此星系包含七顆地球大小的行星,而且它們可能含有水。它們之中至少有三顆可能具有像地球那樣的海洋。




TRAPPIST-1: Weirdest habitable worlds








One of the most important factors in the Trappist-1 system is the distance between its planets.  According to scientists, this facilitates the transfer of organic molecules from one celestial body to another, a phenomenon known by scientists as panspermia.

With the help of mathematical models, astrophysicists have calculated the chances of life on the planets in the trappist-1 system.


We have argued that the number of panspermia events are likely to be much more common on TRAPPIST-1.”

“…the probability of abiogenesis via panspermia can be orders of magnitude higher than on Earth,” wrote experts in the study.









The Treasures of Trappist-1 | Space Time

TRAPPIST-1 空間時間中的寶藏



In the study, scientists wrote: We present a simple model for estimating the probability of interplanetary panspermia, and find that panspermia is potentially orders of magnitude more likely to occur in the TRAPPIST-1 system compared to the Earth-to-Mars case.”

As a consequence, we argue that the probability of abiogenesis is greatly enhanced on the TRAPPIST-1 planets compared to the Solar system. These results are also applicable to habitable exoplanets and exomoons in other planetary systems.”

If there’s life in the Trappist-1 system, we could soon find it.

Launching in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built.

These are the best Earth-sized planets for the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize,” Hannah Wakeford, postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said.

The news is wonderful, and has been since last year when the first three planets in this system were discovered,” Dimitar Sasselov, a professor of astronomy at Harvard University.


The Webb telescope will increase the information we have about these planets immensely.”  Wakeford said.


在這個研究中,科學家寫道:「我們建造了一個簡單模型來計算星際泛種論的可能性,並且發現此泛種論的數量級(orders of magnitude)具有潛力,而且比起地球到火星的例子,這數量級更可能在TRAPPIST-1星系發生。結論是,比起太陽系,我們認為自然發生很可能在TRAPPIST-1星系的行星中增強,這些結果也適用於其他星系中的宜居系外行星和系外衛星。」




在2018 年,詹姆斯·韋伯太空望遠鏡將會是哈伯太空望遠鏡的繼任者。它將是前所未有、最強大的太空望遠鏡。NASA 戈達德太空飛行中心的博士後研究員Hannah Wakeford說:「這些地球大小的行星將會是詹姆斯·韋伯太空望遠鏡最好的捕捉對象。」


哈佛大學的天文學教授Dimitar Sasselov說:「這個新聞真美妙,這個星系的其中三顆行星是在去年被發現的。」


Hannah Wakeford說:「詹姆斯·韋伯太空望遠鏡將會大大增加我們對這些行星的認識。」