Scientists have determined that the average masses of 7 planets in the newly discovered TRAPPIST-1 star system are similar.
Scientists at the University of Washington in the US made detailed measurements of the mass and volume of exoplanets orbiting the red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, which is 40 light-years from Earth, in the study they published in the “Planetary Science Journal”.
By examining the “transit time variations” (TTV) in which the planets orbit the star and the Earth are observable, scientists have found that celestial bodies similar in size to Earth have remarkably similar average eigenmasses.
The scientists concluded that the planets, previously estimated to have rocky structures similar to Earth, consist of a combination of oxygen, iron, magnesium and silicon and contain these substances in similar proportions.
While the researchers found that the planets’ densities were 8 percent lower than Earth’s, they believe this is due to the different composition of matter.
In physics, the proper mass is defined as the mass of a unit volume of a substance, in other words, its density.
Three of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, 40 light-years from Earth, were first discovered by the Small Planetary and Transitional Planets Telescope (TRAPPIST) of the European Southern Observatory in 2015.
The United States Aviation and Space Agency (NASA) announced in 2017 that there were a total of 7 planets in the system, all of them in the habitable part of the star, which is suitable for the emergence of life.