# How many things are wrong in this "artist view" of the TRAPPIST-1 system?

There is a this poster on the NASA site

(

that irks me. Of course its an artist's fantasy, but since it is on a NASA site, I see people considering it as scientifically accurate. So, beyond the two obvious "In which direction(s) is the sun", and "OMG these two planets are crashing into each other! Before we crash in the debris!", what else is wrong? Tides? Roche's limit? Atmospheres ripped out?

Also, since 1e is an intermediate planet, it is possible to have the other six planets all conveniently placed in the same area of the sky?

• It's an artists view, they don't have to be scientifically accurate in every detail. Feb 26 '17 at 3:23
• If the planets are sufficiently close to their sun, their brightsides don't have to (and, in fact, can't) all face exactly the same way. Aug 28 '19 at 2:09
• @sean yes, but they won't be on the same side of the sun. In the illustration the small planet at the top should be close to a half circle IMHO. Aug 28 '19 at 11:04
• @xenoid: Not if the sun is just out of frame to the right, obscured by the windowframe on that side. Aug 28 '19 at 20:53
• thank you for the accept! I'd only meant to add supplementary information to the other answers. Now I'm getting more interested in this; it's a fun problem to think about!
– uhoh
Aug 29 '19 at 0:05

Here's a diagram of the size of each of the planets as seen from each of the other planets.

More details there. The scale is degrees, and for example the top row shows the largest possible size of planets c through h from planet b.

The 2 big planets are probably f & g and they don't look up to scale to me. While f is the size of Earth, or almost 4 times bigger than the Moon, but it's also further away, ~ 1.3 million kilometers, as opposed to 400,000km for the Moon. So I would say f will be somewhat larger than the moon but not anywhere near what the poster shows. G will appear even smaller than f because it's further away. I haven't looked at the orbits in details but I think that sort of event should be possible. Trappist-1e being intermediate planet makes no difference. As for "where is the sun" - it appears to be somewhere to the right, probably below the horizon. That makes sense because any base would probably be along the terminator.

Hominids in the neighborhood is probably the biggest mistake made by the artist.

Sorry to be a little less optimistic than people at NASA, but a journey this far would probably take hundreds of thousands of years.

And we're not in the best condition to prepare for it. The technology needed for such a trip should take time to develop. Too much time, too much ressources... Our time there is limited, and we can difficulty move to another planet to live.

• I think you're missing a particular point of these posters. They're meant to be what travel ads might look like in the future. Presumably, humans, at the time these posters might exist, have mastered space travel and "planet hopping" is as simple as going to the grocery store is now. Feb 27 '17 at 13:54
• My point is I doubt humanity has enough time to achieve this. Feb 27 '17 at 13:57
• Are you saying that humanity will go extinct before then? Like I said, presumably in this future time humanity has mastered space travel and a trip to a star only 40 light years away might be a simple 2 week journey for them. Feb 27 '17 at 13:58
• Yes, it looks so much technology and so many troubles to come before it is available. I hope I'm wrong, though. Feb 27 '17 at 14:00