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James Webb Space Telescope could begin learning about TRAPPIST-1 atmospheres in a year

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posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 08:29 AM
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The TRAPPIST-1 system first caught our imagination in 2016 when it was discovered the star located just 39 light-years away was host to 3 planets that on further investigation were found to be rocky planets capable of retaining water at their surface , subsequent investigations discovered the system actually contained seven planets with three safely within the star's habitable zone.

At just 39 light-years away TRAPPIST-1 is a tantalising early target for the James Webb Space Telescope to home in on and possibly find the first indications for life on an Alien world from studying the atmospheres of the planets with the new tools it provides.


"The Webb telescope has been built, and we have an idea how it will operate," said Lustig-Yaeger. "We used computer modeling to determine the most efficient way to use the telescope to answer the most basic question we'll want to ask, which is: Are there even atmospheres on these planets, or not?"

His paper, "The Detectability and Characterization of the TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST," was published online in June in the Astronomical Journal.

The TRAPPIST-1 system, 39 light-years -- or about 235 trillion miles -- away in the constellation of Aquarius, interests astronomers because of its seven orbiting rocky, or Earth-like, planets. Three of these worlds are in the star's habitable zone -- that swath of space around a star that is just right to allow liquid water on the surface of a rocky planet, thus giving life a chance.

The star, TRAPPIST-1, was much hotter when it formed than it is now, which would have subjected all seven planets to ocean, ice and atmospheric loss in the past.

"There is a big question in the field right now whether these planets even have atmospheres, especially the innermost planets," Lustig-Yaeger said. "Once we have confirmed that there are atmospheres, then what can we learn about each planet's atmosphere -- the molecules that make it up?"


"By doing this study, we have looked at: What are the best-case scenarios for the James Webb Space Telescope? What is it going to be capable of doing? Because there are definitely going to be more Earth-sized planets found before it launches in 2021."

The research was funded by a grant from the NASA Astrobiology Program's Virtual Planetary Laboratory team, as part of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research coordination network.

Lustig-Yaeger added: "It's hard to conceive in theory of a planetary system better suited for James Webb than TRAPPIST-1."
www.sciencedaily.com...

Fingers firmly crossed that JWST makes this latest launch window and deploys as expected , by 2025 we could finally have an answer to the question "are we alone ?" , perhaps one day we could go visit.





posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 10:16 AM
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Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way? I would think that proof of life elsewhere in the universe would be in the form of actual off-world samples, not just guesswork.
edit on 18CDT10America/Chicago029101031 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 10:30 AM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way?


Not possible.
Rule nr 1:
We like to propogate, multiply. I wont give it up any time soon.

Nr 2:
We are stupid. Meaning we allow ppl like Trump, Putin, Lill Kim and so on dictate our lives.

Nr 3:
We love money. Money rules. PERIOD.

Nr 4:
See rule nr 1....


edit on 2019/8/18 by Miccey because: (no reason given)

edit on 2019/8/18 by Miccey because: (no reason given)

edit on 2019/8/18 by Miccey because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 12:28 PM
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I first read about the JWST around 15 years ago. It was supposed to be launched in 2015. The set backs are so depressing. The new insights that are possible from this telescope could be astounding. The anticipation is killing me. I certainly hope it will finally launch flawlessly.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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I'll believe it when I see it.

The JWST has been NASAs principle management incompetence and leadership failure factory for years now.

If it ever makes it into space I'll be surprised.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way? I would think that proof of life elsewhere in the universe would be in the form of actual off-world samples, not just guesswork.


Two different issues. Even if we were perfect stewards of Earth, it would eventually become uninhabitable anyway, whether it is because of processes on the Earth itself or from the Sun. The Earth is inherently unstable. Continents move. Volcanoes blow up. There's a lot more involved in "climate change" than automobile exhausts, most of which we have no control over whatsoever. As a species our "job" is to stay alive, and that means exiting this solar system for another, and another. It's built into our DNA. If you personally do not want to participate, that's fine. Just don't put roadblocks in the way of other people who are interested.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 01:40 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: InTheLight
Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way? I would think that proof of life elsewhere in the universe would be in the form of actual off-world samples, not just guesswork.


Two different issues. Even if we were perfect stewards of Earth, it would eventually become uninhabitable anyway, whether it is because of processes on the Earth itself or from the Sun. The Earth is inherently unstable. Continents move. Volcanoes blow up. There's a lot more involved in "climate change" than automobile exhausts, most of which we have no control over whatsoever. As a species our "job" is to stay alive, and that means exiting this solar system for another, and another. It's built into our DNA. If you personally do not want to participate, that's fine. Just don't put roadblocks in the way of other people who are interested.


The instability you speak of won't happen for many eons yet, so your argument at this time does not apply to us. Unless you mean climate change is creating the instability that may threaten our survival, then if that is your argument then my request stands, even moreso. The only roadblock I put out so far is to ask all of us to become good stewards of the Earth first, instead of putting false hope in finding a new planet we can call home any time soon - if at all. But, hey, they can look all they want...in the meantime we have a home that needs TLC. Priorities. I suppose you can call me a 'detractor'.

qz.com...
edit on 18CDT02America/Chicago00220231 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 02:09 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight

originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: InTheLight
Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way? I would think that proof of life elsewhere in the universe would be in the form of actual off-world samples, not just guesswork.


Two different issues. Even if we were perfect stewards of Earth, it would eventually become uninhabitable anyway, whether it is because of processes on the Earth itself or from the Sun. The Earth is inherently unstable. Continents move. Volcanoes blow up. There's a lot more involved in "climate change" than automobile exhausts, most of which we have no control over whatsoever. As a species our "job" is to stay alive, and that means exiting this solar system for another, and another. It's built into our DNA. If you personally do not want to participate, that's fine. Just don't put roadblocks in the way of other people who are interested.


The instability you speak of won't happen for many eons yet, so your argument at this time does not apply to us. Unless you mean climate change is creating the instability that may threaten our survival, then if that is your argument then my request stands, even moreso. The only roadblock I put out so far is to ask all of us to become good stewards of the Earth first, instead of putting false hope in finding a new planet we can call home any time soon - if at all. But, hey, they can look all they want...in the meantime we have a home that needs TLC. Priorities.


Negative. How do you know? And in any case, the time to put this in place is when Earth is stable, not after it goes crazy on us. You're assuming we have any control over Earth at all, which is a rather arrogant assumption. There will inevitably be an extinction level event, which could happen tomorrow with a simple asteroid strike. We don't have the luxury to wait for "eons" for the sun to go nova. The ONLY way to assure our survival as a species with civilization is to become an interplanetary species, and then to reach for the stars. Sure, "become good stewards" and all that. No one would disagree with you, but meanwhile we need to get our act together right now to get the hell out of here. The goals are not mutually exclusive. If you prefer to concentrate on what you want to happen, by all means do so. I'm just saying to not stand in our way if some of us have different priorities.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: gortex
The TRAPPIST-1 system first caught our imagination in 2016 when it was discovered the star located just 39 light-years away was host to 3 planets that on further investigation were found to be rocky planets capable of retaining water at their surface , subsequent investigations discovered the system actually contained seven planets with three safely within the star's habitable zone.

At just 39 light-years away TRAPPIST-1 is a tantalising early target for the James Webb Space Telescope to home in on and possibly find the first indications for life on an Alien world from studying the atmospheres of the planets with the new tools it provides.



"There is a big question in the field right now whether these planets even have atmospheres, especially the innermost planets," Lustig-Yaeger said. "Once we have confirmed that there are atmospheres, then what can we learn about each planet's atmosphere -- the molecules that make it up?"

Dyuh see the way that paragraph is put, somewhat ambiguously I'm thinking?

The chances are that, like our solar system, they all do have an atmosphere of some kind, no matter how tenuous..or a transient exosphere like Mercury, and the atmosphere of Pluto, which some say is transient, while other say it doesn't, 'collapse' or isn't collapsing.
These planets would have gravity, and it seems their mass from 1 to a hundred times Earth's mass, would have a similar surface gravity to Earth.

The way I see it is, surely they ought to know, (and do say have a similar mass to Earth) about the mass of these planets in some degree already given that the numbers of planets went from three to seven in estimation, with three being in the habitable zone...and also at first said those three planets would have atmospheres!

Still, it's a very interesting story..

edit on 18-8-2019 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 02:21 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: InTheLight

originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: InTheLight
Why don't we all just get together and clean up our mess here on planet Earth instead of looking for other habitable planets that we will most likely trash in the same way? I would think that proof of life elsewhere in the universe would be in the form of actual off-world samples, not just guesswork.


Two different issues. Even if we were perfect stewards of Earth, it would eventually become uninhabitable anyway, whether it is because of processes on the Earth itself or from the Sun. The Earth is inherently unstable. Continents move. Volcanoes blow up. There's a lot more involved in "climate change" than automobile exhausts, most of which we have no control over whatsoever. As a species our "job" is to stay alive, and that means exiting this solar system for another, and another. It's built into our DNA. If you personally do not want to participate, that's fine. Just don't put roadblocks in the way of other people who are interested.


The instability you speak of won't happen for many eons yet, so your argument at this time does not apply to us. Unless you mean climate change is creating the instability that may threaten our survival, then if that is your argument then my request stands, even moreso. The only roadblock I put out so far is to ask all of us to become good stewards of the Earth first, instead of putting false hope in finding a new planet we can call home any time soon - if at all. But, hey, they can look all they want...in the meantime we have a home that needs TLC. Priorities.


Negative. How do you know? And in any case, the time to put this in place is when Earth is stable, not after it goes crazy on us. You're assuming we have any control over Earth at all, which is a rather arrogant assumption. There will inevitably be an extinction level event, which could happen tomorrow with a simple asteroid strike. We don't have the luxury to wait for "eons" for the sun to go nova. The ONLY way to assure our survival as a species with civilization is to become an interplanetary species, and then to reach for the stars. Sure, "become good stewards" and all that. No one would disagree with you, but meanwhile we need to get our act together right now to get the hell out of here. The goals are not mutually exclusive. If you prefer to concentrate on what you want to happen, by all means do so. I'm just saying to not stand in our way if some of us have different priorities.


If our Earth's climate is wreaking havoc on us now, which it is, then the priority and allocation of taxpayers' money should be clear. The same with the clear and present danger from asteroids that may cause utter and complete destruction here - deflection technology should be the priority now to allow future generations the security to search for other worlds, if they desire to or deem necessary. Pie in the sky dream about getting out of here any time soon.
edit on 18CDT03America/Chicago02430331 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 03:13 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I believe we already possess tech that allows us to travel to these places in a acceptable time frame, and that we are already going back and forth.

It is a lie that habitable planets are rare.

But it is not for me and you.

We are the ones that make this happen, but not the ones that enjoy the fruits.

All these amazing inventions, incredible progress... And we get Fortnite.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 10:41 PM
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It comes down to having a magnetic field. Can Webb detect that? It's the only thing that can keep the atmosphere from being ionized away. Even if no magnetic field with an atmosphere is possible, you would prefer having one to naught.

Undersea and underground habitation is possible under extreme surface conditions, but I'll just meet you there.



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