Monthly Archives: February 2017

NASA Confirms Seven Earth-Like Planets Orbiting A Nearby Star: Three of Them Has The Chance To Have Alien Life

NASA finally found 7 habitable planets orbiting a common star, which is 39 light years away from us. 

Photo Credit: NASA

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the system of 7 exoplanets orbiting a star TRAPPIST-1, named after the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers using TRAPPIST reported three exoplanets of the system, finally after groundbreaking research and using sophisticated Spitzer telescope, four more planets are found orbiting the star.
According to the scientists, 3 out of these 7 planets are in the Goldilocks zone, means their distance from their star is such that it is neither too hot, nor too cold to support liquid water on their surface. The mass and densities of these planets are calculated. Based on the data, all the planets are likely to be rocky. Though the mass of the 7th planet are not yet calculated, but it is thought to be “icy-snowball” like planet. 
The star that the seven planets are orbiting is called a red dwarf– it’s small, dim, and cool compared to our own sun, but it can burn for a very, very long time– somewhere on the order of a trillion years, or even longer.
The discovery sets a record of largest number of habitable planets orbiting a common star.
Carl Sagan once quoted, “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”

Thanks For Reading 🙂
Reference:

1. Michaël Gillon, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Brice-Olivier Demory, Emmanuël Jehin, Eric Agol, Katherine M. Deck, Susan M. Lederer, Julien de Wit, Artem Burdanov, James G. Ingalls, Emeline Bolmont, Jeremy Leconte, Sean N. Raymond, Franck Selsis, Martin Turbet, Khalid Barkaoui, Adam Burgasser, Matthew R. Burleigh, Sean J. Carey, Aleksander Chaushev, Chris M. Copperwheat, Laetitia Delrez, Catarina S. Fernandes, Daniel L. Holdsworth, Enrico J. Kotze, Valérie Van Grootel, Yaseen Almleaky, Zouhair Benkhaldoun, Pierre Magain, Didier Queloz. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 . Nature, 2017; 542 (7642): 456 DOI: 10.1038/nature21360

The Hidden Member Of Periodic Table: The “Element Zero”

Chemistry has a total of 118 known elements in the periodic table. Most of the elements after atomic number 90 is artificial or man-made elements. The numbering of elements in periodic table is done by the number of protons present in the nucleus of a particular atom. For example, Hydrogen has one proton in the nucleus so its atomic number is 1, Helium has two protons in the nucleus thus its atomic number is 2 and so on.

The interesting thing is that the nucleus of an element not only contains protons but also neutrons. But according to the convention, the atomic number is measured as the number of protons present in a particular nucleus. So what will be the atomic number of an element which contain no proton but neutron?

The element zero is called ‘neutronium’ or ‘Neutrium’. The word neutronium is first suggested by Scientist Andreas von Antropoff in 1926, before the discovery of Neutron. Neutronium is found in the dense core of the Neutron Stars. The ‘element zero’ is a hot topic of research for the astrophysicist to solve the mysteries of many astronomical phenomenons. 

Thanks For Reading. 🙂