This 16 Million Year Old Exoplanet Has Three Suns and Is Thrice the Size of Jupiter
Imagine waking up to the sunrise of three suns and even watching a triple sunset. Wouldn’t that be a breathtaking experience? Well, there is a planet in our universe that actually has three suns and its name is as of now, HD131399Ab. It would have been nice if scientists give it a name though.
The exo planet with three suns was discovered by a team of astronomers form the university of Arizona using the European Southern Observatory (ESO) The exciting discovery made last year means that there could be many more just like it in the multiple star systems and galaxies of this wonderful and mysterious universe.
1 Move over Tatooine. HD1313399 has three suns not two
Planet HD 131399 AB is one up from Tatooine, the home of Luke Skywalker of Star wars which was projected as having two suns in the movie. The HD exoplanet has three suns instead. Using direct imaging, astronomers discovered the planet last July and has also found that it is unlike any other world because it has the widest orbit within a multi star system.
The discovery was published in the Journal science on July 7th. HD 131399Ab has some remarkable weather patterns. Sometimes there is constant daylight or there may be triple sunrise and sunsets each day which also depends on the season. What’s even more unique is the fact that one season on the planet lasts as long as a human lifetime.
2 The first exoplanet discovered by sophisticated telescope SPHERE
The Arizona University team responsible for the amazing discovery of the planet with three suns had also teamed up with researchers from Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland and Institute de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble in France. It is also the first exoplanet discovery made using SPHERE or Spectro-Polarimetric High-Contrast Exoplanet Research Instrument that is installed on a huge telescope operate by ESO in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile.
3 The planet is 16 million years old with an orbit lasting 550 earth years
HD 131399Ab is the youngest exoplanet discovered thus far and is projected to be around 16 million years old in comparison to earth which is 4.5 billion years old. It is also located a huge distance from earth which is 320 light years away. According to Kevin Wagner doctorate student in APAIs research group and lead author who discovered the planet “For about half of the planet’s orbit, which lasts 550 Earth-years, three stars are visible in the sky, the fainter two always much closer together, and changing in apparent separation from the brightest star throughout the year,”
4 Three times the size of Jupiter
HD131399 has such a wide orbit that it has a daytime that features almost one-quarter of the orbit so one day is roughly 140 years on earth.
The average temperature on the planet with three suns is approx 580 degrees C and has an estimated mass equal to four Jupiters so you can well imagine how large it actually is. It is also the coldest and smallest directly imaged exoplanets found in the universe. If this is earth next to Jupiter, then imagine a planet three times that size.