Scientists have discovered a planet outside of Earth’s solar system that boasts a rare three stars, new research shows.
The planet, called KELT-4Ab, is what NASA calls a “hot Jupiter”—or a gas giant, like Jupiter, but one that is much hotter and with an orbit that takes it much closer to its stars. The alien planet at the center of a study published February in The Astronomical Journal has a triple-star system and hosts a stable planet, which astronomers have only seen three times before, according to the Washington Post.
Scientists were under the impression that KELT-4Ab only had two stars. They learned that one of the original stars is actually a pair of stars orbiting one another.
The findings are valuable in the astronomy world because one of the stars is relatively close to Earth and bright, which will give scientists more insight into the dynamics in a three-star system, the researchers say.