HD 131399Ab: Astronomers Discover Strange Planet with Three Suns [ Current Affairs ]
An international team of astronomers first time have sighted a Jovian planet orbiting a triple star system. The planet has been named as HD 131399Ab. Astronomers have discovered a planet with three suns.
The astronomy team spotted the planet using the SPHERE instrument on European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Importance of Discovery:
- Commonly binary solar systems having two stars or suns.
- Binary solar systems are relatively common in the universe, but solar systems involving three stars or more are very infrequent.
About Planet HD 131399Ab:
- Planet HD 131399Ab is the first discovered in a stable orbit in a triple-star system.
- It is located in the constellation Centaurus, about 340 light years from Earth.
- 16 million years old, HD 131399Ab is one of the youngest exoplanets discovered to date.
- It’s one of the youngest planets discovered outside our solar system to date.
- Our solar system’s largest planet in HD 131399Ab has mass four times that of the gas giant Jupiter,
- It orbits the brightest of the three stars on a very long and wide path.
- HD 131399Ab is one of the few exoplanets that have been directly imaged, and it’s the first one in such an interesting dynamical configuration.
About SPHERE instruments:
- SPHERE: Spectro-Polarimetric High-Contrast Exoplanet Research Instrument.
- SPHERE is one of the world’s most advanced instruments dedicated to finding planets around other stars.
- This instrument is sensitive to ultraviolet light, making it capable of identifying the heat signatures of young planets.
- It has capability to correct the image abnormally (twinkle) introduced by the Earth’s atmosphere. This technique is called direct imaging.
- Published on: July 8, 2016