The impossible: first ever quadruple planetary star system discovered – by amateur astronomers

// October 17th, 2012 // Astronomy and Space News


Four-star planetary system

Two volunteer amateur astronomers have confirmed the existence of a Neptune-like planet that has four suns, making it the first quadruple planetary star system ever discovered and a real-life version of Tatooine from “Star Wars”. The planet is a gas giant located 5,000 light years from Earth and orbits one pair of the stars which in turn forms a unit that orbits around the second pair of stars.

Binary star systems are common but it is rare for planets to revolve around them. The discovery of a 4-star system is a complete surprise for astronomers.

Planet system with four starsThe discovery was made as a part of the Yale University-led Planet Hunters project, in which armchair astronomers work with professional scientists to find evidence of new worlds in the bountiful data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. explained the characteristics of the system:

“With a radius about 6.2 times that of Earth’s, PH1 is a smidge bigger than Neptune. The gassy planet spends 138 days completing a single orbit around its two parent stars, which have masses about 1.5 and 0.41 times that of the sun. The stars circle each other once every 20 days.”

You can read the complete study here:

Sources: Space, Huffington Post
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