Masses of TRAPPIST-1 planets
In 2016, NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes discovered the seven earth sized planets around the TRAPPIST-1 solar system, which are 40 years away from earth. Now, Researchers from Switzerland reveal the masses of TRAPPIST-1 planets that are very similar to earth.
The new research reveals that these seven planets are rock made with high levels of water which is more than earth. The planets TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h, with increasing distance from the central star.
Brice-Olivier Demory, co-author of the study, said, in terms of planets size, mass and irradiation, we measure the density of exoplanets that are similar to Earth with an uncertainty of less than 10%, which is a first and a decisive step in the characterization of potential habitability.
complex computer modelling methods
Simon Grimm, lead researcher of the study applied some complex computer modelling methods and determine the planets densities. When the planets pass in front of the star they move slightly, due to their masses, distances and orbital parameters.
According to computer models, the densities of TRAPPIST-1 planets are not barren rocky worlds. When compared to the Earth, the water content in the planets is up to 5% where the seas account for only 0.02% of the planet’s mass.
TRAPPIST-1b and c planets have a dense atmosphere. Coming to mass, TRAPPIST-1d is the lightest of the other planets at about 30% of the mass of Earth.
While, the TRAPPIST-1e planet has a denser iron core with thick climate, sea or ice layer. Planets f, g and h are very far from the host solar system and their surfaces covered with a layer of ice.