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03/31/2016: Researchers discover incredibly rare triple star system

2016-03-31 | Karen O'Neil

Red_Orbit_2016_Triple_SystemAccording to a newly-published study, a rare triple-star system containing a planet in a stable orbit was recently discovered by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Published in the Astronomical Journal, the study detailed the discovery of distant world, known as KELT-4Ab.

While the planet orbits one star in the system, that star is circled by a pair of stars. Standing on the surface of the KELT-4Ab, the two orbiting stars would appear as bright as the full moon does in our sky.In addition to describing an exotic solar system, the study also provides new details on the evolution of a “hot Jupiter,” or a gas giant that orbits close to its host star.

KELT-4Ab, which is approximately the same size as Jupiter, orbits KELT-A once every three days. The nearby stars KELT-B and KELT-C orbit each other once every three decades, and jointly they travel around KELT-A and its planet about every 4,000 years.

Published by Red Orbit.  See more at: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1113413408/rare-three-star-system-033116/#DWllBAx5tDU7c3cA.99

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