The distance is 1.3 thousand. Light-years away, a planet in the GW Uri system appears to orbit three stars bound together by gravity. This is the first discovery of its kind.

Although our solar system has only one star in the center, half of the systems contain two or even more stars that orbit each other by gravity. But so far, no one has seen a planet orbiting the three stars. In the meantime, such a system was most likely described by astronomers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA).

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) – the world’s largest radio interferometer, they observed the dust disk surrounding the stars of the GW Ori system 1.3 thousand meters away. Light years from Earth. From these disks are formed planets. They were surprised by the gap in the disc. When they analyzed the various possible mechanisms of its formation, including the gravitational forces of stars, they found that the most likely cause was the presence of a massive Jupiter-like planet.

The researchers explained that these gas giant planets were the first planets to form around stars. The planet itself is unfortunately not visible, but if it is indeed hidden in a dusty disk, it is the first known planet to orbit three stars. Further research with the help of ALMA is expected to provide more information.

says Dr Jeremy L. Smallwood, lead author of a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/508/1/392/6371904?redirectedFrom=fulltext).

“It could mean that the planets are more active than we thought. It’s amazing,” he adds.

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Marek Matakz

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