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The exoplanets of Trappist-1 might have water

Rome, Italy - It is confirmed by a study published yesterday on "The Astronomical Journal"

In February NASA thrilled the world with the discovery that three of the seven exoplanets of Trappist-1 -a planetary system which is located from an astronomer's perspective very near to our Earth, at about 40 light-years- have from their Star -a red dwarf- a distance that is compatible with the presence of water, and therefore with life (see AVIONEWS). A study that was published yesterday on "The Astronomical Journal" by an international team from several research institutes among which the Geneva Observatory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) verified that the presence of significant water reserves on some of the planets is realistically compatible with the evolution of the planetary system. Scientists measured the ultraviolet radiation of the Star and estimated how its energy changed over time, then applied those results to a model simulating the effects that heat and radiations produced on the seven planets in the last eight billion years. The results demonstate that those ones that are closer to the Star would have lost a quantity of water -if available- equal to twenty times those of all the oceans on the Earth. For the outer ones things may by different -it depends on the quantity of ice crystals that were incorporated at the time of their formation- and there might still be some water reserves in their surface or interior. Further studies are therefore necessary to verify the presence of signals that indicate its real presence and that until now have not been found. "In terms of habitability, this is a positive step forward to say that hopes are still high", commented Julien de Wit, one of the co-authors of the research.

AVIONEWS - 1206671

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