In a notable study, scientists have found that TRAPPIST-1, one of the most intriguing planetary systems is twice as old as our own solar system.
According to a team of international scientists from the University of California, San Diego, the approximate age of TRAPPIST-1 is 5.4 to 9.8 billion years, whereas our planetary system was formed some 4.5 billion years ago.
The age of the star plays a crucial role in determining whether it can support life or not as older stars are capable of producing lesser flares than younger stars, and this quality makes the older stars more capable of hosting life.
Now, with this new finding, scientists look out for exploring the possibility of life outside earth with seven Earth-size planets orbiting this ultra-cool dwarf star about 40 light-years away.
NASA discovered these seven worlds of TRAPPIST-1 earlier this year using a combination of results from the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and other ground-based telescopes.
With this discovery, three out of the seven planets were found to be positioned within the habitable zone of the star, the orbital distance where a rocky planet with an atmosphere could have liquid water on its surface.
Adam Burgasser, an astronomer at the University of California, San Diego, and the paper's first author, said, "Our results really help constrain the evolution of the TRAPPIST-1 system because the system has to have persisted for billions of years. This means the planets had to evolve together, otherwise, the system would have fallen apart long ago".
The results will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.