A star system has been found where the planets orbit two stars instead of one, originally in keeping with the iconic binary sunset seen by Luke Skywalker on Tatooine star wars movie.
It is the 12th so-called circumbinary star system ever discovered, but only the second with more than one planet. The first one was found in 2021.
The star system, called TOI-1338, consists of two stars and is located 1,320 light-years away in the southern hemisphere constellation Pictor.
has been published today. nature astronomyA new paper by members of a research team called BEBOP (Binaries Escorted by Orbiting Planets) suggests the existence of another planet, BEBOP-1c.
The first planet, TOI-1338b, was discovered in 202o using the transit method. Researchers saw the light of one of the stars dim slightly after the planet crossed its disk as observed by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It is believed to be like Neptune in the Solar System.
However, BEBOP-1c—discovered using the radial velocity method—was detected by two telescopes in Chile’s Atacama Desert as one of the stars wobbly, caused only by the gravitational pull of the planets around it.
“There are only 12 circumbinary systems known so far, and this is only the second one that hosts more than one planet,” said David Martin, an astronomer and Sagan Fellow at The Ohio State University.
BEBOP-1c is even larger, with a mass 65 times that of Earth but less than about five times the mass of Jupiter. It orbits both the stars every 215 days.
“This was a difficult system to confirm, and our observations were hampered by the COVID pandemic when telescopes in Chile shut down for six months during a significant portion of the planet’s orbit,” said lead author Dr. said Matthew Standing, who completed his Ph.D. at the university. of Birmingham in the UK and is now a Researcher at the Open University. “This part of the orbit became observable again last year, when we finalized the detection.”
All you need is clear skies and wide eyes.