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The alien planets of TRAPPIST-1 are already inspiring great art, poetry, and writing

The alien planets of TRAPPIST-1 are already inspiring great art, poetry, and writingImagine standing on a world 40 light-years from Earth. You look up, and see other planets slowing moving through the sky, sisters to the world you find yourself on.  You notice that it's relatively dark, because the star you're orbiting is dim, and far smaller than the sun. But you're still warm, thanks to the infrared light emitted by the ultracool dwarf star.  SEE ALSO: Seven Earth-sized planets orbit an alien star only 40 light-years away This could be a vision of what we'd see if we traveled to one of the seven Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, a small, dim star about 235 trillion miles from our home. The possibly icy, watery and steaming worlds of TRAPPIST-1. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech Thoughts of these newly-discovered planets outside of our solar system are enough to send even the most limited imagination wandering through the universe, right?  Proving that very point, a number of artists have already created their own art celebrating the distant worlds not too terribly far from Earth.  Two short stories, a graphic novel and a poem are now all live on trappist.one, a website updated by scientists on the team studying the star devoted to the star system.  Artist's impression of a view from the surface of a planet. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech "As scientists, we thought that one way to communicate how excited we are about this new system, is to allow artist to imagine what it would like there," the intro to the stories section of the website says. "Please enjoy these works keeping in mind that those are mostly works of fiction, written with artistic licence!" One of the short stories, called "La Oportunidad," and written by Adam Burgasser is about the emotional one person goes on before leaving home to travel to the TRAPPIST-1 system. The poem, written by Sean Raymond, and titled "An Ode to 7 Orbs," on the other hand, is probably geared toward a younger audience.  The first stanza:  In general, basically any photo or picture you see of TRAPPIST-1 and its planets is art in some form. Scientists aren't sure what kind of atmospheres envelop these worlds, and who knows if any of them can actually sustain liquid water on their surfaces, much less life.  Artist's impression showing a view above the surface of one of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Image: ESO/N. Bartmann/spaceengine.org But artists working for NASA and other science organizations are still taking the small bits of what we do know of the worlds to create illustrations that resemble what they might look like if we actually made our way there.  A new 360-degree video, for example, shows you exactly what it might be like to stand on the sunny side of one planet, which is probably tidally locked (meaning: the same side of the world always points toward its host star). NASA's also released a "travel poster" advertising (fake) tourist trips to "planet hop" around the TRAPPIST-1 star system. In reality, it might be possible to hop around the alien star system once you get there. Image: nasa-JPL/caltech Like Jupiter and many of its moons, the planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 are all very close to their star. Because their orbits are so interconnected, they also exert influence over one another, shifting the way they travel around the star. This could make travel between the world at least slightly easier. Who knows—maybe traveling around TRAPPIST-1 could one day be as easy as moving from one Greek island to the next.  BONUS: NASA Will Fly Satellites in Formation to Create Larger Telescopes




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