Astronomers Discover The Largest Known Planet That Orbits Two Suns
In June 2016, astronomers announced the largest ever circumbinary planet -- that is, a planet that orbits not one, but two, stars. Though other two-sun worlds have been discovered in the past, this one is substantially larger, roughly matching the size and composition of Jupiter. Kepler-1647b, as it's named, has other similarities to our solar system as well. Its 4.4-billion-year age is about the same as Earth's, and each of its stars are around the same size as the Sun. Whereas a Jupiter-sized planet would ordinarily be pretty easy to spot with an advanced telescope, confirmation of Kepler-1647b took an unusually long time. Astronomers identify exoplanets by watching them pass in front of their home stars, and this planet's two-star system and its lengthy three-year orbital period made that particularly tricky. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
from GeoBeats News
Key Facts In This Video
Astronomers recently discovered the largest planet known to date to orbit two stars. (0:09)
It's located 3,700 light years away and is roughly the same age as Earth. (0:20)
It's located within the habitable range, but because it's a gas giant, life is unlikely to be present. (0:31)