Astronomers discovered an exoplanet in an extremely rare Triple-Star System.
An artist’s concept of the newly found KELT-4Ab planet, a “Hot Jupiter” that orbits the brightest member of a three-star system. Credit NASA JPL CALTECH
The specific triple-star system and the gas planet, offer a unique opportunity to understand how it manage to orbit so close to their star.
The planet’s existence within a hierarchical triple and its proximity to Earth (210 pc) provide a unique opportunity for dynamical studies with continued monitoring with high resolution imaging and precision radial velocities.
Jason Eastman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, lead author on the new research, told Gizmodo:
“You’d see the primary star about the size of your outstretched, splayed hand (about 40x the apparent size of our Sun). Your year and day would be the same: 3 Earth days, which means half of planet would be in continuous daylight and the other half would be in continuous darkness.
Those two stars would orbit each other every about 30 years, and every 4,000 years they’d make one orbit around KELT-4A.”
source Astronomical Journal