A planetary system in unusual harmony

I wrote a while back about how scientific observations have unexpectedly highlighted the fact that sometimes the Earth’s magnetic field comes into full harmony. See my earlier post here.

Today’s New York Times has a wonderful article about a planetary system orbiting a star called  Trappist 1 in an unusual state of harmony: The Harmony That Keeps Trappist-1’s 7 Earth-size Worlds From Colliding.

“In February, astronomers announced the discovery of a nearby star with seven Earth-size planets, and at least some of the planets seemed to be in a zone that could provide cozy conditions for life.

The finding of these planets circling the star Trappist-1 40 light-years away came with a bit of mystery. The orbits of the planets are packed tightly, and computer calculations by the discoverers suggested that the gravitational jostling would send the planets colliding with each other or flying apart, some to deep space, others spiraling into the star and destruction.

Now new research provides an explanation for the dynamics of how this planetary system could have formed and remained in stable harmony over billions of years.

“It’s actually a very special system,” said Daniel Tamayo, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the lead author of a paper appearing in The Astrophysical Journal Letters…”

“The scientist in the office next door to Dr. Tamayo found musical inspiration from the Trappist-1 planets. Matt Russo, an astrophysicist who is also a musician, turned to Dr. Tamayo’s computer simulations for help turning the orbits into notes, and they have produced a sort of music of the spheres for the 21st century.

“I think Trappist is the most musical system we’ll ever discover,” Dr. Russo said…”

It’s rather wonderful that such things are possible. If any of these planets hold life, I wonder if this state of affairs influences these lifeforms in special ways?

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