With what anguish, Luke Skywalker looked at the plain surrounding the uninhabited dwelling of his aunt and uncle under the Tatoo double stars ... Imagine how much the classic Star Wars scene would look like if there were three Suns!
Whether or not this stellar addition would affect the iconic space scene is controversial, but astronomers have just announced the discovery of exoplanets in a stable orbit around a triple star system.
But do not expect to stand on the surface of this planet, admiring the complex stellar dynamics at dusk, this particular world does not have a solid surface. And this would be a very bad place to live if you do not want to be burned to the ground.
We represent KELT-4AB, a gigantic gas world that rotates around its parent star once every 3 days, located in a very rare multi-star system at a distance of about 700 light years from Earth.
The exoplanet was discovered with a telescope with the amazing name Kilodegree (extremely small telescope, KELT), a system of two small telescopes located in Arizona (KELT-North) and South Africa (KELT-South). Although the KELT-4 system has been known for some time, only recently it became clear that this is a triple star system. The system consists of a main bright star called KELT-4A and a binary pair of stars called KELT-4B and KELT-4C, commonly known as KELT-4BC. KELT 4BC rotates around each other every 30 years at a distance of just 10 AU (the approximate distance at which Saturn rotates around the Sun). This binary pair revolves around KELT-4A once every 4,000 years or so at a distance of approximately 330 a. e. (about 8 times the distance from Pluto to the Sun). It was around KELT-4A that the rotating transit exoplanet KELT-4AB was discovered, the world is 50 percent larger than Jupiter.
Although this triple star system is not strange enough, KELT-4AB makes a turn around its star mistress in just 3 days, which makes it a “hot Jupiter”. Its close proximity to KELT-4A causes the exoplanet atmosphere to swell dramatically. According to the discoverers of the planet in a study published in The Astrophysical Journal, its star hostess is the brightest of all the stars with the hot Jupiters discovered to date, so this could be a priceless astronomical target for further research into the nature of these extreme worlds.
KELT-4AB is only the fourth such exoplanet located in a stable orbit in a multi-star system, so it will be a great scientific opportunity to understand how exoplanets can form in multi-star systems when logic dictates that they should not be gravitationally stable. But what does the planet's sky look like in a 3-star system? Young Skywalker would be shocked. If you were able to swim in the upper layers of the bloated atmosphere of KELT-4AB, you would see the dazzling bright main star Celt-4A, which occupies a large part of the sky, 40 times wider than our Sun seems on a clear day. Further, the KELT-4BC dual system looks much smaller, appearing no brighter than the full moon. They, however, appear to constantly hug each other in their eternal orbital dance.