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

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.


“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 upon the 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)


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.



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.

With the help of mathematical models, astrophysicists have calculated the chances of life on the planets in the trappist-1 system, concluding that there are very high chances of life having developed there already.

“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.



In the study, scientists wrote: “We present a simple model for estimating the probability of interplanetary panspermia in the recently discovered system of seven planets orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, 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. By adopting models from theoretical ecology, we show that the number of species transferred and the number of life-bearing planets is also likely to be higher, because of the increased rates of immigration. We propose observational metrics for evaluating whether life was initiated by panspermia on multiple planets in the TRAPPIST-1 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, perhaps for its whole lifetime,” 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, and a researcher who focuses on studying the origins of life in his lab told Fox News. “This just confirms what we started theorizing already in the past two years: [which] is that our galaxy, our universe, is just full of places which could sustain life, and where life could emerge.”

“The Webb telescope will increase the information we have about these planets immensely. With the extended wavelength coverage we will be able to see if their atmospheres have water, methane, carbon monoxide/dioxide and/or oxygen,” Wakeford said.

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