TRAPPIST-1: A Sky Full of Planets

Okay, one more post about TRAPPIST-1 and its seven planets, and then I promise I’ll move on to another topic. But this is something that’s just too awesome for me to skip.

You know that goofy trope you sometimes see in Sci-Fi movies or comic books? The one where the hero is standing on the surface of some alien planet and there are a whole bunch of other planets in the sky? Like, not just a moon or two, but a ton of huge planets looming over the horizon.

Well, apparently if you stood on the surface of one of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, you’d be able to look up and see the other planets in the sky. Not just as tiny points of light but as large orbs.

The planets of TRAPPIST-1 are packed extremely close together, it seems. Several articles I’ve read, such as this one from Spaceflight 101, suggest that weather patterns and surface features would be visible to the naked eye.

I’m guessing the view would not be quite as epic as what I drew for the illustration above, but still… it would be stunning to see it. Just remember to bring proper radiation gear. TRAPPIST-1 is still a flare star.

5 thoughts on “TRAPPIST-1: A Sky Full of Planets

  1. Makes me wonder how much affect all those other planets would have on the one you’re standing on. Tides, seasonal fluctuations, weather effects. Makes me feel nice and isolated here on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true. The scale of this system is more like Jupiter’s family of moons than the Solar System as a whole, and tidal forces have been a major factor in the development of those moons. I’m especially thinking of Io here with it’s overactive volcanos.


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