Scientists have recently discovered a very interesting fact about an alien planet. As opposed to previous theories, the celestial body seems to be orbiting not one, but two suns. Astronomers were able to observe the extraordinary phenomenon with the help of a Hubble Space Telescope. The official announcement was made on September 22.
Because of its behavior, the alien planet is called a circumbinary planet. This means that it orbits two suns instead of one. However, the scientific name of the planet for this research is OGLE-2007-BLG-349. According to the specialists analyzing it, it is located at the core of our galaxy, as far as 8,000 light-years away from us.
Researchers first observed OGLE-2007-BLG-349 nine years ago, back in 2007. Their initial studies pointed out that there was nothing out of the ordinary with the recently identified alien planet. It seemed to have a normal behavior, orbiting only one star.
However, something about their first research remained unclear. There seemed to be a third element related to the system, but scientists could not identify it back then. Thanks to some later investigations, this third element turned out to be another star. Being a part of this threefold system makes the alien planet a circumbinary planet.
The team of scientists used a Hubble Space Telescope for their research. The specially designed tool provided them with accurate, high-resolution pictures of the phenomenon. The device proved its efficiency with other research projects as well.
The main leader of the research and the author of the study was NASA expert David Bennett. He talked about the possible explanations of the relation between the three celestial bodies:
“The ground-based observations suggested two possible scenarios for the three-body system: a Saturn-mass planet orbiting a close binary star pair or a Saturn-mass and an Earth-mass planet orbiting a single star.” (David Bennett)
Before jumping to the conclusion that they deal with a threefold system, the scientists also considered the possibility of a twofold system or that of one consisting of two planets and one star. However, none of the latter theories were compatible with the information provided by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Scientists are pleased with the results of the telescope, and especially with their recent discovery. They intend to use the same methods for further research too.
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