This Exoplanet Revolves Around Three Stars Simultaneously

We usually define a solar system by the structure that has a single star in the center and planets revolving around it. But once again, nature is there to prove to us that exceptions can be made. The GW Orionis (or GW Ori) solar system from the Orion constellation is the new attraction point for astronomers, as it’s home to not one, but three stars.

Two suns from the GW Orionis are orbiting one another at the center, while a third star is swirling around the other two. The solar system features three bright rings of planet-forming dust, and astronomers had been using them to detect GW Orionis.

Young planet existing under the dust?

Closer observations of astronomers reveal that a young planet could be forming itself beneath the solar system’s dust. There are several clues that point to the possible existence of a planet: one of them is the wobbling around of the system’s inner ring.

Nienke van der Marel, who’s an astrophysicist from the University of Victoria in Canada, declares:

Our simulations show that the gravitational pull from the triple stars alone cannot explain the observed large misalignment [in the rings],

He continued:

We think that the presence of a planet … has likely carved a dust gap and broken the disk [where the inner and outer rings meet].

Stefan Kraus, professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter in the U.K, declared:

The inner ring contains enough dust to build 30 Earths, which is sufficient for a planet to form in the ring,

The claim of the existence of a planet within GW Orionis still needs further observations for confirmation. If the answer is positive, the planet will become the only known one that orbits three stars simultaneously.

Two studies were published on the matter in the journal Science and in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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