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The 7 planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are identical — here’s what we can learn from them

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Just 40 light-years from Earth, the TRAPPIST-1 system of planets is home to the largest family of Earth-like worlds known to astronomers.

At least seven planets are known to orbit within the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. A new study shows these worlds have nearly identical densities — within just a few percent of each other. This suggests that each of these seven planets could have similar compositions.

“This is one of the most precise characterizations of a set of rocky exoplanets, which gave us high-confidence measurements of their diameters, densities, and masses. This is the information we needed to make hypotheses about their composition and understand how these planets differ from the rocky planets in our solar system,” explained Eric Agol, professor of astronomy at the University of Washington.