Imagining the Planets of TRAPPIST-1

Science Animations Video • February 5th, 2018 • ssc2018-04v2

This video shows artist's concepts of the seven Earth-sized planets of TRAPPIST-1, an exoplanet system about 40 light-years away, based on data current as of February 2018. Each planet is shown in sequence, starting with the innermost TRAPPIST-1 b and ending with the outermost TRAPPIST-1 h. The video presents the planets’ relative sizes as well as the relative scale of the central star as seen from each planet. The art highlights possibilities for how the surfaces of these intriguing worlds might look based on their newly-calculated properties.

The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial. TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star in the constellation Aquarius, and its planets orbit very close to it.

In the background, slightly distorted versions our familiar constellations, including Orion and Taurus, are shown as they would appear from the location of TRAPPIST-1 (backdrop image courtesy California Academy of Sciences/Dan Tell).

Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech