consists of two planets and is 5,000 light years from Earth
The team of astronomers who manages the Kepler probe announced yesterday at a conference of the International Astronomical Union , the discovery of the first extraterrestrial planetary system orbiting two suns. Dubbed Kepler 47, the system consists of two planets and is 5,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.
The new solar system contains two stars that revolve around each other every seven days and a half. One is very similar to our Sun , while the other is three times smaller and its brightness is 175 times smaller. As for the two new planets, the innermost (closest to the stars), is a rocky world just three times larger than Earth and makes a complete orbit around its two suns every 49 days.
On another planet, far away, is slightly larger than Uranus and its orbit takes 303 days land. however, lies right in the middle of the “habitable zone” of the system, one in which a solid, rocky world can hold water liquid. Astronomers, however, warn that this planet, too big and gaseous,can not support life, but demonstrates that it is possible to form circumbinary planets (orbiting two stars) in habitable zones, something that had not been demonstrated so far .
Not good candidate for “life”
The two planets, “b” and “c” are too far away from us as to be detected directly. Their existence has been determined by measuring the decrease in the brightness of stars when they cross in front of them. A decrease of 0.08% in the case of the planet ‘b’ and 0.02% for the planet “c”. Consider that when Venus transits across the Sun barely hangs 0.01% of its light.
“Kepler 47 teaches us that the typical architecture of a solar system with multiple planets, may be around two stars,” says Joshua Carter, one of the participants in the study. “We have learned that she continues circumbinary planets may be the same as those of our own solar system, only with two suns. “
As the planet “c”, the researchers believe that, despite being in the zone of habitability , not a good candidate for harboring life, as it is too large and gaseous. However, said Professor of Astronomy William Welsh, who presented the work at the International Astronomical Union. “If I had big moons, would be the ideal place to investigate.”