It may be the first planet found orbiting 3 stars at a time

“‘Star Wars’ missed a turn,” said Rebecca Nealon of the University of Warwick in England, co-author of the article. Scientists searched ...


“‘Star Wars’ missed a turn,” said Rebecca Nealon of the University of Warwick in England, co-author of the article.

Scientists searched for a planet orbiting three stars and found potential evidence in another system, GG Tau A, located about 450 light years from Earth. But researchers say the gap in GW Ori’s gas and dust ring makes him a more compelling example.

“This may be the first evidence that a circumtriple planet is driving a real-time divide,” said Jeremy Smallwood of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, lead author of the new article.

William Welsh, an astronomer at San Diego State University, said the researchers “make a good case. If it turned out to be a planet, that would be fascinating.

Alison Young of the University of Leicester in England, who has argued that the stars of GW Ori caused space in the system’s disk, rather than a planet, notes that observations from the ALMA Telescope and the Very Large Telescope at Chile in the coming months could end the debate.

“We will be able to look for direct evidence of a planet in the disk,” Dr. Young said.

If the planet hypothesis is confirmed, the system would reinforce the idea that the formation of planets is common. Several worlds, known as circumbinary planets, are already known to orbit two stars at the same time. But circumtriple planets have been harder to find – despite estimates that at least a tenth of all stars cluster together in systems of three or more. Yet their possible existence suggests that planets are popping up in all sorts of places, even here in this weirdest system.

“Three stars are not enough to kill the formation of planets,” said Dr. Nealon.

This suggests that exoplanets are likely to appear in increasingly unusual places. “What we have learned is that whenever planets can form, they do,” said Sean Raymond, an astronomer at the University of Bordeaux in France who was not involved in the article. .

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Newsrust - US Top News: It may be the first planet found orbiting 3 stars at a time
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