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Not all stars are like the sun, so not all planetary systems can be studied with the same expectations. New research from a University of Washington-led team of astronomers gives updated climate models for the seven planets around the star TRAPPIST-1.

The work also could help astronomers more effectively study planets around stars unlike our sun, and better use the limited, expensive resources of the James Webb Space Telescope, now expected to launch in 2021.

"We are modeling unfamiliar atmospheres, not just assuming that the things we see in the solar system will look the same way around another star," said Andrew Lincowski, UW doctoral student and lead author of a paper published Nov. 1 in Astrophysical Journal. "We conducted this research to show what these different types of atmospheres could look like."

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Category: Science