Scientists Detect Bizarre Planet Orbiting Three Different Stars

Located in the GW Ori triple star system, scientists are yet to see this circumtriple planet, but gravitational models suggest it is very much real.

In a new space research paper, scientists have detailed the potential discovery of a planet orbiting a triple-star system, the first of its kind to be documented so far. Multi-star systems are not that rare in the known universe. So far, scientists have documented at least nine circumbinary planets that are known to orbit around two stars in the same system, with some of them even having slightly eccentric orbit. And even though they’re not thought of being habitable due to their gaseous nature, the discovery was indeed remarkable.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) — which recently captured sound waves coming from a star — discovered TOI 1338 b, its first two-star system in 2020 that was located some 1,300 light-years away in the Pictor constellation. The two stars of the system are known to orbit each other every 15 days, while the planet’s orbital activity happens in the same plane as the stars, leaving the doors open for a regular eclipse event. However, scientists haven’t been able to spot a circumtriple system where a planet is bound by the gravitational pull of three stars in the same system.

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