Quantcast

My Three Suns: New Planet Thrice as Bright

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Business]

Don’t let the sun go down on meokay, don’t let the next sun go down on me, yeah. Um, a third one? This song’s not going to work, and neither is the reigning theory on planet formation.

In the last ten years, about 150 new planets have been discovered outside our solar system, 20 of them in binary star systems. But none have shared the distinction of having three suns. As reported in the journal Nature, a Jupiter sized planet, a mere 149 light years away from Earth, was discovered in a triple-star system in the constellation Cygnus, or the Swan.

The distance is relatively close in astronomical terms as the nearest galaxy is 2 million light years away. Don’t try to imagine how far, it’ll only make your brain hurt. One light year is 6 trillion miles away.

Maciej Konacki, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, made the discovery atop the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii using a 32-foot-wide Keck One telescope.

“With three suns, the sky view must be out of this world, literally and figuratively,” Konacki said.

The planet orbits around the biggest of the three suns, aptly named HD 188753. It is a little larger than our sun, but would look much bigger on the new planet.

The gas giant revolves around its main sun every 3 days at a distance of only 4 million miles-which means it’s hot, really hot. The temperature there is estimated to be about 1,340 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, the Earth’s sun is 93 million miles away.

The other two stars hang out a bit farther away, orbiting each other like a really self-absorbed teenage couple at a party. The same distance between the sun and Saturn, the two remaining two suns are 850 million miles away.

The skyline would present a colorful horizon. The nearest sun would be yellow, the next largest would be orange, and the smallest one would be red.

What’s better than finding a planet with three suns? How about making a discovery that confounds the entire scientific community?

Existing theories of planetary formation don’t include the possibility of a planet with three suns.

“This planet should not exist,” according to German astronomers Artie Hatzes and Gunther Wuchterl who wrote a commentary to go with Konacki’s report.

My Three Suns: New Planet Thrice as Bright
Comments Off
Top Rated White Papers and Resources

Comments are closed.