New exoplanet with four stars found

New exoplanet with four stars found

Researchers using Adaptive Optics System developed by Indian scientists at Pune-based Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics have discovered a new exoplanet with four stars.


The four-star planetary system, called 30 Ari, is located 136 light-years away in the constellation Aries.

This is only the second time that a planet has been identified in a quadruple star system.
The first four-star planet, KIC 4862625, was discovered in 2013 by citizen scientists using public data from NASA's Kepler mission.

Earlier, the planet that is 10 times the mass of Jupiter was thought to have only three stars, not four.


"About four percent of solar-type stars are in quadruple systems, which is up from previous estimates because observational techniques are steadily improving," said Andrei Tokovinin of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile and co-author.

The gaseous planet orbits its primary star every 335 days.
The primary star has a relatively close partner star, which the planet does not orbit.
This pair, in turn, is locked in a long-distance orbit with another pair of stars about 1,670 astronomical units away.

This is an astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun.
It is highly unlikely that this planet, or any moons that might circle it, could sustain life.
By using the automated Robo-AO system on Palomar Observatory to scan the night skies, researchers found two candidates hosting exoplanets: the four-star system 30 Ari, and a triple-star planetary system called HD 2638.

The findings were confirmed using the higher-resolution PALM-3000 instrument, also at Palomar Observatory.

"This result strengthens the connection between multiple star systems and massive planets," concluded Lewis Roberts of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and lead author.


The findings appeared in Astronomical Journal.

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