Exoplanet With Three Suns Spotted By NASA’s TESS

By , in News Sci/Tech on . Tagged width: , ,

Most people think about a single star being present during the day, as evidenced by our solar system. But the universe is quite diverse, and a whole bunch of peculiar things can happen. Stars can orbit other stars in a perpetual dance of sorts. One solar system that stands out for astronomers has been designated LTT 1445. The system is 22.5 light-years from Earth and features a triple star lineup. An exoplanet has also been discovered in the system that orbits all of the three red suns. It has been designated LTT 1445ab.

The exoplanet with three red suns

If one were to stand on the surface of the planet, a majestic sight could be possible. All three stars could fly around the sky during the day, with 2 of them looking smaller due to their distance from the planet. Being describes as evil eyes in the day’s sky.

The way astronomers discover planets that orbit visible stars is by observing star dimming. This minute difference in the appearance of the distant bodies is evidence for an exoplanet blocking some of the light from reaching our eyes. NASA employs the TESS space telescope for this purpose.

The exoplanet in question stands at 1.35 the size of Earth, but it holds about eight times more mass. Vast mass usually means it is similar to Earth or Mars, meaning it’s not a gas giant. The planet only has a 5 Earth day orbit around its central star, and this means it is incredibly close and extremely hot. With reported temperatures of around 155 degrees Celsius.

Space detection and analysis

Astronomers are guessing on whether or not the planet has an atmosphere. Detection tools that search for gases are intended to be used on a suitable candidate. And an exoplanet with an atmosphere would be ideal. An atmosphere has many functions and features. One of them is that it affects how light is perceived from the surface, based on the chemical properties of the atmosphere. Different atmospheres make for different colors of light and sky.

Researchers are excited about the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2021, which will be the replacement for Hubble. The satellite will be a more potent tool for the discovery and identification of space objects, including the before-mentioned exoplanet. Targets for the James Webb Space Telescope are already being selected.