We’ve heard of binary star systems, but how about a quadruple star system?


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Another planet has been discovered orbiting the closest star to Earth, Alpha Centauri. Only 3.6 million miles from its star, this newly discovered planet is far too hot for life to exist as we know it meaning it is way too hot for water to exist as a liquid. Astronomers are finding more and more planets orbiting other stars using data collected by the Kepler satellite. Even though Earth orbits one star, many other star systems are multiples. In fact, a planet has been discovered orbiting a quadruple star system, which is reminiscent of Tatooine, featured in Star Wars, where its inhabitants can watch two suns setting. However, this quadruple star system has a very complicated gravitational set up, so scientists are trying to figure out how this system can actually exist. Scientists are relying on amateur astronomers more and more, like those that are part of Planet Hunters on the website Zooniverse examining data from the Kepler satellite right along with professionals. Also, don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.

Photo Credit: Space.com

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