This week, NASA sent the scientific world into raptures of excitement when it announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting the TRAPPIST-1 star, 39 light years from Earth. The discovery was a record breaker; never before had so many Earth-sized planets been found orbiting a single star. But, there was more to get excited about than just the number of planets found. Among the seven TRAPPIST-1 discoveries, six planets are thought to have similar temperatures to Earth, while three seem likely to have conditions suitable for allowing liquid water to be present on their surface. In short, these discoveries are a huge deal for those looking for habitable planets and, by extension, alien life.
Now we’ve all had time to simmer down from the excitement (and enjoy Google’s adorable ‘Doodle’ tribute, above), NASA has released a series of stunning pieces of art that help us imagine what life might be like in an age where exoplanet tourism is a reality.
You’ve already seen their first piece of art, below, but further down are some new abstract pieces that celebrate TRAPPIST-1, which must now certainly be the most exciting star system known to man.
The artworks below aren’t just easy on the eye, they’re actually incredibly informative. Each piece compares a different aspect of the TRAPPIST-1 system to our very own solar system.
Here we see how remarkably similar in size the exoplanets are to Earth, but also how their star is dwarfed by our own Sun.
The next piece shows how much closer the TRAPPIST planets orbit their tiny star.
Here we see a comparison of how much energy each planet receives from its host star.
Finally, here’s a comparison of the TRAPPIST planets’ size and orbital periods, which hold a striking resemblance to the moons of Jupiter.
If learning isn’t your thing, you might like these purely abstract pieces that are quite simply out of this world.
You can find hi-res versions of this artwork at http://www.trappist.one/#posters.