MessageToEagle.com - Binary stars are well-known and even trinary systems may be common but most of them are crowded together and thus,
difficult to find and study.
Additionally, it has long been considered they are inhospitable to planets.
"With three suns, the sky view must be out of this world," said once Maciej Konacki, a NASA-funded Polish astronomer at the California
Institute of Technology, Pasadena when he discovered a truly alien world where the sun sets over the horizon, followed by a second sun and then a third.
This extraordinary discovery took place more than 6 years ago. A total of 725 such planets have been identified as of January 14, 2012
and the seeking out worlds orbiting distant stars continues.
Alien world. Credits: www.messagetoeagle.com
“Here I report the detection of an unusual hot Jupiter orbiting the primary star of a triple stellar system, HD 188753.
The planet has an orbital period of 3.35 days and a minimum mass of 1.14 times that of Jupiter.…” Dr. Konacki wrote in “Nature”,
the prestigious international journal for science in 2005.
The new planet, called HD 188753 Ab, was at that time, the first known to reside in a classic triple-star system.
The masses of the three stars in HD 188753 system range from two-thirds to about the same mass as our Sun. The planet is slightly more massive than Jupiter.
Computer simulations conducted by scientists suggest that planets in multi-star systems may look exotic and host exotic forms of life as well.
According to the astronomer and discoverer, the sky view from such exotic planet, with an occasional triple sunset, would certainly be spectacular.
"Multiple-star systems have not been popular planet-hunting grounds," said Konacki. "Before now, we had no clues about whether planets could
form in such gravitationally complex systems."
The new planet belongs to a common class of extrasolar planets called "hot Jupiters," which are gas giants orbiting with periods of 3–9
days around Sun-like stars. They are believed to form in a disk of gas and condensed matter at or beyond ~2.7 astronomical units
(au—the Sun–Earth distance) from their parent star.
Click on image to enlarge
HD 188753: Triple Sunset
Although it looks like fiction, this artist's vision of sunset on an alien world is based on fact -- the recent discovery of a hot, jupiter-sized
planet orbiting in triple star system HD 188753. Only 149 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, HD 188753's massive planet was detected by
astronomer Maciej Konacki after analyzing detailed spectroscopic data from the Keck Observatory.
The large planet itself is depicted at the upper left in this imagined view from the well-illuminated surface of a hypothetical rocky moon. From
this perspective, the closest, hottest and most massive star in the triple system, a star only a little hotter than the Sun, has set below distant peaks.
The two other suns nearing the horizon are both cooler and farther from the large planet. While other hot, jupiter-like planets are known to orbit
nearby stars, the "crowded" multiple star nature of this system challenges current theories of planet formation. Illustration Credit: courtesy JPL-Caltech, NASA
At such distances, there exists a sufficient amount of solid material to produce a core capable of capturing enough gas to form a giant planet.
Subsequently, they migrate inward to their present close orbits.
In this case, the planet whips every 3.3 days around a star that is circled every 25.7 years by a pirouetting pair of stars locked in a 156-day orbit.
Systems with multiple stars are widespread throughout the universe, accounting for more than half of all stars. For example, our Sun's closest star,
Alpha Centauri, is a member of a trio.
Based on recent discoveries, astronomers estimate that within 500 pc of the Sun, there are about 1200 planetary systems that, like HD 188753, have orbital
parameters definitely unfavorable for forming giant planets, because the current outer orbit of the triple is too tight for a Jupiter-like planet to have
formed elsewhere and migrated to its current location.
However, the fact remains that such a planet exísts and it will certainly puzzle astronomers for a while until they can explain how this planetary system formed.
This discovery is without doubt very interesting but has not been officially confirmed. It does however not exclude a possibility that this planet exists
in a triple star system HD 18875.
Super-Earth Discovered Orbiting Several Suns
Scientists at the University of Goettingen and the Carnegie Institution for Science in the U.S. Washington have discovered a potentially habitable planet,
located 22 light years away from Earth.
The super-Earth, named GJ 667Cc has the mass four and a half times that of our Earth and an orbit of 28.15 days.
The planet GJ 667Cc orbits a dwarf star of the class M, 22 light years away which corresponds to approximately 209 trillion kilometers.
Astrophysicist Resolves Paradox With Radio Millisecond Pulsars
Celestial objects known as pulsars are still full of secrets. It is takes time and many efforts to learn all their secrets. Previous studies reached
the paradoxical conclusion that some millisecond pulsars are even older than the universe itself. It was time to resolve this paradox.
Cosmic Vibrations From Neutron Stars
In the collision of neutron stars, the extremely compact remnants of evolved and collapsed stars, two light stars merge to one massive star.
The newly-born heavyweight vibrates, sending out characteristic waves in space-time. Model calculations at the Max Planck Institute for
Astrophysics now show how such signals can be used to determine the size of neutron stars and how we can learn more about the interior of these exotic objects.
Unusual Sounds From Space Reported Worldwide - What Are They?
For almost a year now people from different countries have reported hearing strange sound from the sky. Now scientists propose that what people are
hearing is only a small fraction of the actual power of these sounds!
What are these sounds? What is causing them? Are they in anyway related to our Sun and the biggest solar flares, do they come from Earth's inner core
or can they be attributed to an unknown an astronomical phenomenon? Are they in anyway dangerous to our planet?
Unknown Force "Intelligently" Put Together Miranda Moon - with video
What could melt this moon in this extremely cold region of the solar system?
Voyager 2 passed Miranda’s strange world at a distance of only 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) and
sent back to Earth very detailed images of its "tortured" surface.
Nothing like them has been seen anywhere else in the solar system! Did a type III civilization conduct some "experiments" on Miranda?