Categories: Space

KOI-5Ab, the curious planet that orbits in a system of three suns

To us, the Sun alone seems perfectly normal, but our solar system is actually a strange exception.

Most stars in the Milky Way galaxy have at least one companion star. In a system 1,800 light-years away, astronomers have finally confirmed the existence of a gas giant planet orbiting stars in a triple star system.

Called KOI-5, the system is located in the constellation Cygnus, and the exoplanet was confirmed ten years after it was first detected by the Kepler space telescope.

In fact, the planet – now known as KOI-5Ab – was discovered by Kepler when it began operations back in 2009.

“KOI-5Ab was dropped because it was difficult and we had thousands of other candidates,” astronomer David Siardi of NASA’s Exoplanet Science Institute said.

“There were lighter dives than the KOI-5Ab, and every day we learned something new from Kepler, so the KOI-5 was almost forgotten.”

Related Post

Exoplanet hunters tend to avoid the complexities of multi-star systems; of the more than 4,300 exoplanets confirmed to date, less than 10 percent are multi-star systems, although such systems dominate the galaxy. As a result, little is known about the properties of exoplanets in multi-star systems compared to those orbiting a lone star.

After Kepler’s discovery, Chardy and other astronomers used ground-based telescopes such as the Palomar Observatory, Keck Observatory, and the Gemini North Telescope to study the system. By 2014, they had identified two companion stars, KOI-5B and KOI-5C.

Scientists were able to establish that the planet KOI-5Ab, is a gas giant that is about half the mass of Saturn and 7 times the size of Earth, and is in a very close five-day orbit around KOI-5A. KOI-5A and KOI-5B, both of roughly the same mass as the Sun, form a relatively close binary system with an orbital period of about 30 years.

A third star, KOI-5C, orbits the binary system at a much greater distance, with a period of about 400 years – slightly longer than Pluto’s 248-year orbit.

“By studying this system in more detail, perhaps we can understand how planets are created in the universe.”

The discovery was announced at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Share

Recent Posts

Laos miracle: the mystery of the Valley of stone jugs unraveled

Using an innovative method, archaeologists were able to date giant stone jugs in Laos for…

8 hours ago

Scientists discover a catastrophic climate bomb in the Arctic

A team of scientists from the University of Washington, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the…

18 hours ago

Microchips, Gene Editing, Exoskeletons And More: Research Shows How Our Lives Will Change Over The Next 10 Years

A major study by the 'Dentsu' advertising firm, described how people will use technology to…

18 hours ago

NASA finds mysterious stripes on satellite images over the Russian Arctic

NASA discovered mysterious stripes while studying satellite images of the Republic of Sakha (Russia). Scientists cannot…

1 day ago

In Hawaii, two rare phenomena in the sky were noticed at once

A pillar of blue and red lights surrounded by bright flames of white light looks…

2 days ago

A woman met a seven foot Bigfoot in an English park. This encounter influenced her entire future life

The unusual meeting in Salford happened when the 53-year-old Englishwoman was still a teenager. Despite the…

2 days ago