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Space & Astronomy

Astronomers find distant planet with 3 suns

July 8, 2016 | Comment icon 10 comments



This distant world sees numerous sunrises and sunsets. Image Credit: ESO / L. Calcada
The newly discovered exoplanet experiences days lasting up to 140 Earth-years thanks to its trio of suns.
Known as HD 131399Ab, this distant gas giant can be found in the constellation Centaurus and is situated within an unusual three-star system approximately 340 light years from the Earth.

The planet itself orbits the largest of the three stars while its two smaller neighbors ensure a unique array of sunrises and sunsets as well as individual seasons lasting for hundreds of years.
"For about half of the planet's orbit, which lasts 550 Earth-years, three stars are visible in the sky, the fainter two always much closer together, and changing in apparent separation from the brightest star throughout the year," said PhD student Kevin Wagner.

"For much of the planet's year the stars appear close together, giving it a familiar night-side and day-side with a unique triple-sunset and sunrise each day."

"As the planet orbits and the stars grow further apart each day, they reach a point where the setting of one coincides with the rising of the other -- at which point the planet is in near-constant daytime for about one-quarter of its orbit, or roughly 140 Earth-years."



Source: CNET.com | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Frank Merton 6 years ago
Every time some planet is found (and there's gonna be a lot of them, folks) that as odd properties, it gets headlines.  This is getting tiresome.  Tell us when one is found that is around a sun-like star, about the mass of the earth with a moon like ours, has liquid water, and is in a stable system.  That will be interesting, and so far there don't seem to be any, even though there are supposed to be millions of "Earths" out there. I think these oddities get news because there is a group looking for funding.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Clair 6 years ago
I'd fund them. I love new discoveries like that, no matter how insignificant.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Taun 6 years ago
Frank, there is an old adage in the News "business" that goes: "Dog bites man - that's not news... Man bites dog - That's news"... The "oddities" - while probably more closely the actual "norm" in space - are interesting for various reasons besides just being "odd"... Such as this one that can perhaps help us learn more about celestial mechanics for example... And though no exo-planet has yet been found that match Earth's conditions, it does not mean there are not a lot of them out there, they may be just too difficult to detect with current technology...  Also, reporting finds like this one i... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Frank Merton 6 years ago
Astronomers find all sorts of odd things out there and it doesn't get into any newspaper except the astronomical journals.  This seems to me to be of that sort.  However, I'm just complaining so I will allow them to seek their publicity and public money.  As far as I'm concerned it is money well spent.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ozfactor 6 years ago
Known as HD 131399Ab, this distant gas giant can be found in the constellation Centaurus and is situated within an unusual three-star system approximately 340 light years from the Earth.The planet itself orbits the largest of the three stars while its two smaller neighbors ensure a unique array of sunrises and sunsets as well as individual seasons lasting for hundreds of years.- See more at: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/296485/astronomers-find-distant-planet-with-3-suns#sthash.asWXXkja.dpuf I would love to see the unique array of sunrises and sunsets on planet HD 13199Ab 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Astra. 6 years ago
Absolutely....
Comment icon #7 Posted by GreenmansGod 6 years ago
We have only discovered the drop in the bucket so far.  I don't find any  the findings of diverity of the universe tiresome.  Pure science takes funding, for some who what to see $$ returns on everything it may get tiresome, but to me, pure science is the icing on the cake.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by danielost 6 years ago
here is a thread containing   http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/topic/296359-nasas-benefits-to-us/  
Comment icon #9 Posted by DLE 6 years ago
It's New Texas https://youtu.be/UaMo4k7iG7s
Comment icon #10 Posted by Clair 6 years ago
Reply to Roshini123's question:   It seems they don't know for certain just yet. Single star systems are more common and easier to figures out. Approximately 30 extrasolar planets have been found around double-star systems, but this three-star planet is new and they need more finds like this one to study it better. But here are some guesses: One idea is that the planet formed much closer to the star it orbits but was flung into a long orbit by some unknown process, maybe involving unseen planets. The second idea is that the star Trisol orbits formed around the one of the nearby twin stars and ... [More]


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