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Double planets discovered orbiting double stars

Another amazing discovery by the Kepler Space Telescope, double planets found circling around double stars.

  Author: Spaceman | Source: nationalgeographic.com | 2nd September 2012  

It is the first time ever that multiple planets have been found in an binary star system - where two stars are orbiting a common center of gravity. The phenomenon was discovered by a Kepler Space Telescope in the constellation Cygnus about 5,000 light-years away from us.

The new discovery or system, called Kepler-47 consists of two stars and two planets. One of the stars reminds of a sun and the other one is third its size. The two planets are orbiting around the two stars, one of the planets is three times bigger than Earth and the other one a bit larger than Uranus. William Welsh of San Diego State University, who also announced this amazing discovery said, "It's much more difficult to form planets around a pair of stars", as the changing positions and gravity force cause a confusing environment that can can have a negative impact on the formation of planets.

The binary star systems on the other hand are not a rarity at all, furthermore most of the stars in the Milky Way - our home galaxy - are binaries and single stars like our sun are the exception. Binary star systems are also a pain in the neck when it comes to discovering new planets, they can "imitate" the transitions of planets in front of a star and as such give the false impression of a newly discovered planet.


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