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Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:14 am

UNLV researchers and colleagues may have identified the first known planet to orbit three stars.

Unlike our solar system, which consists of a solitary star, it is believed that half of all star systems, like GW Ori where astronomers observed the novel phenomenon, consist of two or more stars that are gravitationally bound to each other.

But no planet orbiting three stars—a circumptriple orbit—has ever been discovered. Perhaps until now.

Using observations from the powerful Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, UNLV astronomers analyzed the three observed dust rings around the three stars, which are critical to forming planets.


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Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:16 am

Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars Research-in-brief-unlv
Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), ESO/Exeter/Kraus et al.

An image of GW Orionis, a triple star system with a mysterious gap in its surrounding dust rings. UNLV astronomers hypothesize the presence of a massive planet in the gap, which would be the first planet ever discovered to orbit three stars.

The left image, provided by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, shows the disc’s ringed structure, with the innermost ring separated from the rest of the disc.

The observations in the right image show the shadow of the innermost ring on the rest of the disc. UNLV astronomers used observations from ALMA to construct a comprehensive model of the star system.


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Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars 334pu7m
Dragon
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Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars Empty Re: Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars

Post by Dragon Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:17 am



GW Orionis system observations by the Very Large Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed that the stars "tear apart their planet-forming disc.

" according to the European Southern Observatory. See how the stars orbit and the evolution of the system in these animations. -- Scientists spot a triple-star system shredding its planet-forming disk in a cosmic first:


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Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars 334pu7m

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