Exoplanets with a permanent day side may sometimes flip into night

A planet, one side covered in water, the other in ice

An illustration of the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f, which appears to be tidally locked


Some alien planets thought to be locked in place around their parent star may actually be able to rotate, creating stable climates long enough for potential life to arise – as long as any inhabitants didn’t mind sudden disruption.

Many exoplanets that closely orbit white dwarf stars, such as in the TRAPPIST-1 system, are thought to be tidally locked by their star’s gravity, so the planets have permanent day and night sides that are extremely hot or cold. …

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