Space never ceases to amaze and fascinate us humans. Every time a new discovery is made, it can completely revolutionize the way that we think about outer space. One such recent discovery made by the Wide Angle Search for Planets project is the mind-blowing finding of a quintuplet star system some 250-million light years away in a constellation called Ursa Major.
The system is being called 1SWASP J093010.78+533859.5 (why couldn't I have had a cool name like that?).
First presented in the UK National Astronomy Meeting, astronomers are calling this system the "first of its kind," because the five stars in the system as so close together that they form what's known as a binary system. In fact, they're so close together that one of the pairs of stars actually share the same atmosphere, as depicted in the artist's rendition image below:
The other three stars work in an orbital system with the two stars that are already inter-connected as their own binary system, which is very strange and unusual behavior for any type of star system. They all orbit along the same plane as one another. It's also fairly likely that such a system could have planets orbiting the myriad of stars.
Any planets that could possibly exist out there would get a lot of sunlight. It would even out-shine Star Wars' sandy planet of Tatooine, which has two Suns off into the horizon in the popular science fiction movies.
"This is a truly exotic star system. In principle there's no reason why it couldn't have planets in orbit around each of the pairs of stars. Any inhabitants would have a sky that would put the makers of Star Wars to shame," Dr. Markus Lohr said in an interview.
So could there be life? That's a good question, but there's really nothing that can be proven at this point in time with current technology boundaries being that the system is 250-million light years away.
Nonetheless, that's a really awesome star system that's sure to get a lot of attention from astronomers in the future. Maybe the search project will even uncover some more awesome star systems.
Source: Dr. Marcus Lohr