Scientists have announced the discovery of a strange planet in a faraway solar system that contains not just one sun, but three that rise in the morning and set at night.
The newfound planet is described Thursday in the journal Science.
The distant planet, named HD 131399Ab, appears even more unusual than the home planet of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Tatooine, which orbited around two suns, according to the findings.
Such binary solar systems may be relatively common in the universe, but experts said those involving three stars or more were rare.
“Imagine this: a planet where you’d either experience constant daylight or enjoy triple sunrises and sunsets each day, depending on the seasons, which happen to last longer than human lifetimes,” a statement from the University of Arizona, which led the astronomy team, read.
The planet is located about 340 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
The cosmic body is believed to be relatively young, about 16 million years old, which makes it one of the youngest planets discovered outside our solar system to date.
Its mass is believed to be four times that of the gas giant Jupiter — our solar system’s largest planet.
It orbits the brightest of the three stars on a very long and wide path.
“For about half of the planet’s orbit, which lasts 550 Earth-years, three stars are visible in the sky — the fainter two always much closer together and changing in apparent separation from the brightest star throughout the year,” first author Kevin Wagner, a first-year PhD student who discovered HD 131399Ab, said.
“For much of the planet’s year, the stars appear close together, giving it a familiar night-side and day-side with a unique triple-sunset and sunrise each day,” Mr Wagner added.
“As the planet orbits and the stars grow further apart each day, they reach a point where the setting of one coincides with the rising of the other.”
The result is “near-constant daytime for about one-quarter of its orbit, or roughly 140 Earth-years”.
The astronomy team spotted the planet using the SPHERE instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile.
SPHERE is one of the world’s most advanced instruments dedicated to finding planets around other stars.
With AFP inputsFollow @gorkhapost
Man divorces wife just 15 minutes after Islamic marriage in Dubai
A man in Dubai divorced his bride just 15 minutes after their Islamic marriage as he felt ‘insulted’ by her father’s bride price demands.
The man agreed to pay his new father-in-law Dh100,000 for their wedding but the older man became impatient to get the cash, DailyMail reported.
According to Gulf News, family members and friends accompanied the couple to a Sharia judge’s office to witness the marriage contract being signed. The groom then gave Dh 50,000 on the spot as agreed, with the rest to come after the party left the court building, according to Gulf News.
But, the bride’s father demanded the remaining cash as soon as the signing was over, even though the groom didn’t have it on him.
He said it would only take five minutes to walk to his car, which was parked outside, and get the rest of the bride price.
Instead of letting him retrieve it, the father insisted him to pay either right then or send a friend or relative to get the money while he stayed inside.
The groom felt insulted and demeaned by the series of demands and called off the marriage immediately, a lawyer handling the case said.
‘He told the bride’s father that he did not want his daughter as his wife and divorced her in less than 15 minutes from signing the marriage contract,’ he said.Follow @gorkhapost