L. Calçada/ESO /AP

To understand how seven tightly-packed Earth-sized planets orbit around their star (Trappist-1) without colliding or falling into space, scientists turned their orbits into musical notes.

How: Astronomers found that the planets are in a resonant orbit and can continue as such for billions of years. The rhythmic pattern inspired astrophysicist and musician Matt Russo to assign each of them a musical note based on their orbital period, and the result was something similar to a drum progression.

What's next? Though Trappist-1 is the only known planetary system whose planets orbit in resonance, this research could lead to a better understanding of how planets form and exist around other dwarf stars.

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Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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