On Wednesday, Earthlings were shocked—and certainly relieved—to finally get a push notification about planetary discovery, not political corruption. News broke that an international team of scientists had spied seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby star TRAPPIST-1. Three of those planets are located in the habitable zone, where liquid water might form. NASA, the unofficial planetary hype train conductor, along with researchers behind the discovery, are doing everything in their power to drum up public excitement—including building a mythology for TRAPPIST-1 that blends science fact and fiction.
This week, planetary scientists launched a website for the star system that’s full of gorgeous infographics with data on the seven TRAPPIST planets. NASA has also added TRAPPIST-1 to its “Exoplanet Travel Bureau,” where it imagines what vacationing in the star system might be like.
— from io9
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