NASA has made a big announcement today about discovery outside of our solar system.
No, it’s not aliens, but it is something that could tell us more about life that exists beyond planet Earth.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the first known system of exoplanets, which are seven Earth-size planets around a single star. The exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named after The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile.
NASA says that all of these planets could have water, under the right atmospheric condition.
Three planets, in particular, are more likely to have water because they are located in the habitable zone. This is an area around a parent star where a rocky planet has an increased chance of containing liquid water.
“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, of NASA in a release.
“Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.”
The exoplanets are located abut 40 light years (378 trillion kilometres) from Earth, which NASA says is relatively close to us.
Could a discovery of alien life on these planets be NASA’s next step? Only time will tell.