The intriguing ultra-cool dwarf star of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system could be up to twice as old as our own solar system, says a new research. This could be a benchmark in exploring possibility of life outside earth as the age of its star plays pivotal role in supporting habitability. TRAPPIST-1 star is between 5.4 and 9.8 billion years, while our own solar system formed some 4.5 billion years ago, according to the results to be published in The Astrophysical Journa
The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 were revealed earlier this year in NASA news conference, 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. When TRAPPIST-1 and its seven planets which is 37 light-years away were discovered, scientists came to the conclusion that it could be at least 500 million years old but the new study found the earlier result wrong.
Older stars emit lesser flares than the younger ones thus facilitating living beings’ existence. However, because of the proximity of planets to its star, there is possibility that they might have soaked up high-energy radiation, which could have boiled off atmospheres and large amounts of water. There is also chances of their orbits being unsteady.