How a musical rhythm keeps 7 planets in orbit
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.