TRAPPIST between a terrestrial planet and a boiling place

Get it? Like stuck between a rock and a hard place? All puns aside about the mysterious new solar system discovered in February, the Red Dwarf that makes up the TRAPPIST-1 system may be a bit hostile compared to what our predictions were originally anticipating; as further research may mean these “habitable” planets may have a sudden change in taste. Written by Even Gough of Universe Today in his article, he explains that TRAPPIST-1 displays acts of solar flares -while normally average for a star- at a rate extremely overwhelming to livable standards, especially with the distance that the surrounding planets consist of in relation to said star. How this relates to the Conceptual Objective 13 was that these energy flares are produced with massive amounts of X-rays, a step below Gamma waves, as is an average displacement in the act of stellar nuclear fusion deep in its core; a concept covered in our various slides/in-class lecture regarding the proton-proton cycle as well as the CNO cycle. Another interesting fact about this is that unlike our sun, TRAPPIST-1 is already a star within the Red Dwarf phase; as both according to the article as well as our lectures with backup evidence from chapter 13 of our textbook, have massively long lifetimes and are much hotter as compared to stars such as our sun, the previous step in this section of stellar evolution, but much more unique as they can proven substantially stable. I found this article both interesting and somewhat disappointing knowing that these flares are essentially ruining any chances of human interaction with the TRAPPIST system, as according to the article, a system known as a magnetosphere that protects planets from solar radiation on a TRAPPIST planet would need to be hundreds of times stronger than that of Earth’s just to survive each day; I found this discovery important above all else because I feel we’d much rather learn of such an outcome much earlier than having a human take a step on a TRAPPIST planet and going “Oh it’s a little toasty” before instantaneously vaporizing where they stood.


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