TRAPPIST-1’s Stability and Age

Editor’s note: AAS Nova is on vacation until 18 September. Normal posting will resume at that time; in the meantime, we’ll be taking this opportunity to look at a few interesting AAS journal articles that have recently been in the news or drawn attention.

If you missed the New York Times publication of this video back in May, it’s definitely worth a watch! The video, created by Matt Russo (CITA, University of Toronto), Dan Tamayo, (University of Toronto Scarborough), and Andrew Santaguida (RVNNERS), provides a musical description — a sonification — of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanetary system. It was produced in conjunction with a study led by Tamayo that was published in ApJ Letters, exploring the dynamical stability of the TRAPPIST-1 system. The video has since been entered in a science communication competition.

Original paper: Daniel Tamayo et al 2017 ApJL 840 L19. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa70ea
New York Times article: The Harmony That Keeps Trappist-1’s 7 Earth-size Worlds From Colliding

And if you want still more coverage of the TRAPPIST-1 system, you may be interested in the recent paper by Adam Burgasser (UC San Diego) and Eric Mamajek (NASA JPL and University of Rochester) exploring the age of the system. Spoiler alert: TRAPPIST-1 and its planets are older than our solar system!

Original paper: Adam J. Burgasser and Eric E. Mamajek 2017 ApJ 845 110. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa7fea
Sky & Telescope article: New Age Estimate for TRAPPIST-1