NASA released the news yesterday. The Belgian astronomer Michaël Gillon and his team discovered the existence of 4 extra planets around a star after having found 3 other planets earlier on.
Gillon called the star TRAPPIST - derived from a telescope he used in Chile called 'TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetsImals Small Telescope'. The name was a reference to Belgium, the land of beers, with the several Trappist varieties among its most renowned ones.
The name proved an excellent source of inspiration for jokes and puns on social media.
"If only I had known there was Trappist in space"
"I have following suggestions if they are looking for names for the different planets," writes Ferry De Bont: "Westmalle, La Trappe and Chimay", in a reference to some types of Trappist beers.
"If I had known there was Trappist in space, I would have studied to become an astronaut", says someone else. Others use photos to make a joke, like a rocket being launched into space in the shape of a giant Trappist bottle.
Another one is a close-up of the new planet, which looks rather sparkling and beer-like. "Breaking: NASA releases first picture of the Trappist-1 solar system", tweets Roderick.
"No wonder, 7 Trappists make you see stars"
Ralf hopes that there will soon be Trappist on the Trappist planets. Gunther makes a confession: "7 earth-like stars around Trappist-1? I also see stars after 7 Trappists."
"This Trappist gives us taste for more", says Dutchman Stan. Harry doubts whether the discovery is a real one: "Heavy stuff, this Trappist thing. It makes you see stars!"
Maarten claims he has already been to the Trappist solar system (though with the present technologies it would take us 44 million years to get there, red): "It was 10 degrees there and I soon became light in the head." Paul has the final word: "Belgians discover planets with drinkable liquids. Oh yes. Try to con someone else."