Image source: www.space.com

Turns out that it wasn’t just dust on the lens of the NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, but an unexplored star system with seven Earth-size planets around a dwarf star named TRAPPIST-1 (The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope), some or all of which could harbor water and possibly life! This expedition can be titled as the biggest set of such planets found at once yet.

This star system is said to be located in the constellation Aquarius, less than 40 light-years or 235 trillion miles away from us; which can be considered close as per astronomical standards. The 7 planets orbit Trappist-1 and the orbit size ranging from 1.5 to 20 days. If Trappist-1 were our sun, the orbits of all 7 planets would fit inside the orbit of Mercury. Yes! They are that closely bound.  The planets are only known by letters, "b" through "h".

The exciting news about the discovery is that three of these planets smack dab in the Goldilocks Zone, which is the “habitable zone” indicating the possibility of the existence of watery streams and conditions which are just right for life to flourish. Voila, right! Well easy, Earthlings; because it’s is just an assumption and the scientists still need to research a lot for being sure.

Spitzer, Hubble, and Kepler will help astronomers plan for follow-up studies using NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Scientists need to study the atmospheres of the new