The UW connection to an amazing astronomical discovery

SEATTLE — This week’s discovery of seven planets around a distant star has a connection right here at the University of Washington. The star is called TRAPPIST-1 and the scientist is Eric Agol.

The equations on the long chalkboard in professor Eric Agol’s office on the University of Washington campus let you know as soon as you enter that he knows he’s got the right stuff for his job.

But, the UW professor that’s been on the Seattle campus for 15 years actually wasn’t the kind of astronomer who as a kid would drag a telescope out into his backyard to gaze at the heavens.

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