The discovery of seven planets closely resembling the Earth found to be orbiting the Trappist-1 ultra-cool dwarf star is one of the most impressive scientific developments of recent years. The whole world has been discussing the likelihood of other forms of life resembling ours (even if the planets are still forty-odd light years away). NASA, which immediately claimed the discovery was made using one of its telescopes, has taken all of the credit for this astounding discovery. Yet what (almost) no one recalled was that the project that led to this amazing revelation was virtually entirely Made in Europe, not just because the team of scientists was coordinated by Liège University in Belgium, which runs a telescope in Chile, but because the study was made possible by the European Union, which thanks to funding by the Council on Research backed it to the tune of almost two million dollars (€1.8mn), a subsidy without which the discovery would not have been possible.

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