HD 131399Ab: Astronomers Discover Strange Planet with Three Suns [ Current News (Concise) ]


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.

Image shows the Planet HD 131399Ab

Image shows the Planet HD 131399Ab

Showing image of Planet HD 131399Ab

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/Last Modified on: July 8, 2016