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Image Credit: NASA/R. Hurt/T. Pyle

Dr Amaury Triaud, an astronomer and Birmingham Fellow researcher based at the University's School of Physics, has recently been interviewed for the latest episode of The Naked Scientists podcast, one of the world's most popular science shows.

Dr Triaud was asked about the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system he co-discovered and current investigations aimed at establishing whether any of the planets in that system have the characteristics necessary to sustain life, such as existence of water.

The interview formed part of a broader discussion about the possibility of going beyond Earth and colonising space.

The TRAPPIST-1 planetary system is currently considered our greatest hope for evidence of biological life beyond the Solar system. In 2018, international studies of TRAPPIST-1 produced in collaboration with Dr Triaud held out the possibility of life beyond our Solar system.

The studies found that all seven planets which make up the system are mostly made of rock, with up to 5 percent of their mass in water – a significant amount. By comparison, our Earth's oceans account for only 0.02 percent of our planet's mass. Additionally, the planets are considered temperate, meaning that under certain geological and atmospheric conditions, all could possess conditions allowing water to remain liquid.

Created and launched in 2001, The Naked Scientists was one of the first podcasts to exist and is now one of the world's most popular science shows, achieving over 50 million programme downloads in the last 5 years.

You can listen to podcast by following the link below:

The Naked Scientists podcast - The search for the perfect planet