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Astronomers Discovered Planet with 3 Stars

Astronomers discover a circumtriple planet has importance for strengthening the understanding of planet formation. In a distant star system which is 1,300 light years away from Earth. The finding is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The researchers and colleagues may have identified the first known planet to orbit three stars.The solar system consists of a solitary star, it is believed that half of all star systems, like GW Ori where Astronomers observed the novel phenomenon, have two or more stars that are gravitationally bound to each other.There is no planet orbiting three stars in a circumptriple orbit that has been discovered. Using observations from the powerful Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescope, UNLV Astronomers analyzed the three observed dust rings around the three stars, which are critical to forming planets.

They found a substantial gap in the circumtriple disc.  The research team investigated other origins, including the possibility that the gap was created by gravitational torque from the three stars. Gas giants, according to Jeremy Smallwood, lead author and a recent Ph.D. graduate in astronomy from UNLV, are usually the first planets to form within a star system. Terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars follow.

Further observations from the ALMA telescope are expected in the coming months, which could provide direct evidence of the phenomenon. The lead author of the study said that it is really exciting because it makes the theory of planet formation really robust.

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