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2017-05-10. The Harmony That Keeps Trappist-1’s 7 Earth-size Worlds From Colliding.

posted May 11, 2017, 11:24 AM by Alan Gould

By Kenneth Chang, The New York Times. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 8. Excerpt: In February, astronomers announced the discovery of a nearby star with seven Earth-size planets, and at least some of the planets seemed to be in a zone that could provide cozy conditions for life. The finding of these planets circling the star Trappist-1 40 light-years away came with a bit of mystery. The orbits of the planets are packed tightly, and computer calculations by the discoverers suggested that the gravitational jostling would send the planets colliding with each other or flying apart, some to deep space, others spiraling into the star and destruction. Now new research provides an explanation for the dynamics of how this planetary system could have formed and remained in stable harmony over billions of years. ...The scientist in the office next door to Dr. Tamayo ...Matt Russo, an astrophysicist who is also a musician, turned to Dr. Tamayo’s computer simulations for help turning the orbits into notes, and they have produced a sort of music of the spheres for the 21st century. ...Since the Trappist-1 planets are so close to their star, they orbit quickly, and their “year” — the time to complete one orbit — ranges from 1.5 days to 19 days. The original discoverers noted that those orbits were almost exactly in what scientists call “resonance.” ...In more than 300 computer runs, each simulating five million years, the vast majority stayed stable, Dr. Tamayo said....  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/science/trappist-earth-size-planets-orbits-music.html  See also Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS5UxLHbUKc - TRAPPIST Sounds: TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System Translated Directly Into Music.


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