(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers has discovered an extremely rare system in which one exoplanet revolves around two stars at once.
Already this discovered planet reminds scientists of Tatooine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
Known to Star Wars fans, the planet Tatooine was notable for having two suns, hence two sunsets and two sunrises.
Just a few years ago, this seemed like nothing but fantasy. However, in early 2022, the discovery of the planet Kepler-16b was announced.
It became the first known planet that revolves around two stars, that is, the so-called circumbinary planet.
And now astronomers have discovered a second such planet. The system they discovered is called TOI-1338. It is a double star located about 1300 light-years away in the constellation Pictorus.
Its main star has been designated TOI-1338 a and has a mass of 1.12 solar masses. The second star, TOI-1338 b, is a class M red dwarf with a mass of 0.3 solar masses. This star system is about 4.4 billion years old.
In orbit between them, a planet was discovered, designated TOI-1338 / BEBOP-1c – by the names of the stars and the BEBOP project, in which the observations were made.
The new planet is a gas giant with a mass of about 65 Earth masses. Its orbital period is about 215 days.
By the way, this discovery represents the first time that astronomers have found a circumbinary planet, using not the transit method of searching, but the method of measuring the radial velocity of objects.
By the way, additional observations have shown that in an open star system there is at least one more planet, which also revolves around two stars.
Its parameters have yet to be clarified, but scientists already assume that the mass of this planet is about 33 Earth masses, and in size it is located between our neighbors in the solar system – Saturn and Neptune.
In addition, its orbital period is believed to be 95 days. This planet was observed by the transit method, that is, it is visible to observers only when it passes in front of one of its stars.
This complicates the study, since the next time scientists will be able to observe it only after eight years.
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