Amazing newly discovered exoplanet 'one-ups' Tatooine from Star Wars

Subject: Extraordinary new-found exoplanet with 3 suns - Comments and suggestions are welcome! Don't hesitate and leave a comment on our comment section down below the article!

By Universal-Sci

An artist’s impression of what the view might look like standing on the surface of LTT 1445 A b (Although standing on the surface would be quite a challenge with a temperature of 160 degrees Celsius ) - Image credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser - HDR tune by  Universal-Sci

An artist’s impression of what the view might look like standing on the surface of LTT 1445 A b (Although standing on the surface would be quite a challenge with a temperature of 160 degrees Celsius ) - Image credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser - HDR tune by Universal-Sci

The recently discovered planet known as LTT 1445 A b is a steaming hot rocky planet that is approximately 40% larger than our home planet. Nothing too special here so far as there are many exoplanets with similar characteristics. However LTT 1445 A b is actually quite special because of the extraordinary fact that it has a sky with three suns in it.

Immediately the iconic Star Wars scene on Tatooine comes to mind (where Luke Skywalker walks towards the horizon with two suns illuminating the sky). LTT 1445 A b even one-ups this iconic planet by having not two but three suns.

Sadly this is where the sci-fi similarities end. Walking on the surface of LTT 1445 A b would be quite the challenge as it is blazing hot due to its close orbit with its parent star (surface temperatures are estimated to be a sizzling 160 degrees Celsius). The before mentioned close orbit is also the reason behind the fact that a year on LTT 4778 A b only takes 5 days. The planet is located just 22 light years from earth.

People might think it is normal to have a star system consisting of just one star. In reality though, double and triple star systems are actually quite common in our galaxy. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of sun like stars are part of a multiple star system while this percentage goes up to as high as 80 percent for larger types of stars

The most common multiple star system are of course binary star systems, three star systems are a bit more rare. However there are even multiple star systems with more than 3 stars like the Di Chamaeleontis system which consists of a whopping 4 stars.

While you can only see two stars with the naked eye, the Di Cha system actually consists of 4 stars (two sets of binary stars) - Image Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement:  Judy Schmidt (geckzilla.org). via Wikimedia Commons

While you can only see two stars with the naked eye, the Di Cha system actually consists of 4 stars (two sets of binary stars) - Image Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (geckzilla.org). via Wikimedia Commons

It is speculated that LTT 1445 A b has a stable orbit around its parent star which orbits the two other stars that are locked in a close orbit around each other. The triple star system consists of only red dwarf stars. Red dwarf stars have an expected lifespan of trillions of years that far outreaches that of our sun. So it is very likely that LTT 1445 A b will be out there long after our planet is gone.

This extraordinary planet has been found by a Harvard Center for Astrophysics team with thanks to data provided by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). TESS has only been launched about a year ago and has already discovered over 20 confirmed exoplanets and is expected to eventually find thousands in its life-cycle. We are hoping for many more remarkable exoplanet discoveries to come!

Sources and further reading: Binary star systems / DI Chamaeleontis / NASA exoplanet exploration / TESS mission / Red dwarf stars / TESS exoplanet discovery counter


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