科學家發現了第一個怪異的五恆星系統!

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多恆星系統

天文學家發現了有史以來第一個五恆星系統,它有兩個雙恆星軌道相近環繞著一個引力點,然後另一顆恆星與其中的雙恆星相近。之前有報導過四恆星系統,但我們從來沒有見過恆星彼此這麼近的系統過。

這發現在英國國家天文會議上被公布。它是用超廣角尋找行星望遠鏡(SuperWASP 或Wide Angle Search for Planets)做的發現,這望遠鏡(在加那利群島和南非)會每幾分鐘就拍攝整個天空。 這恆星系統的名字是1SWASP J093010.78+533859.5, 它與地球有250光年遠,大熊星座附近。

雙恆星在一起公轉的距離很近(比太陽的直徑還要小),近到它們有共同的表面氣層,這叫做密接雙星或相接雙星(contact binary)。 另一對恆星之間的距離是300萬公里,而它們是交食雙星或食雙星 (eclipsing binary),是指恆星的軌道從地球看時會彼此掩食而造成亮度發生周期性變化的雙星系統。

五恆星系統3

這兩對雙恆星之間的距離是210億公里,比冥王星環繞太陽的距離還要遠,科學家還很驚訝的發現了第五顆恆星在一對雙恆星20億公里遠處。宇宙中80%的恆星都有可能在多恆星系統裡,但這是第一次發現這種結構的恆星系統,兩個公轉的雙恆星與一顆第五恆星。

五恆星系統2

畫家對五恆星系統的想像。Credit: Marcus Lohr

研究員推測這五顆恆星都比太陽小,而且有可能從一個巨大的盤(塵埃與氣體)的碎片裡形成,在100億年前,所以才會都那麼近。他們也說這些恆星也可能有星球,而那些星球上的景觀會非常的怪異。

英國公開大學的Marcus Lohr說 “有可能天空中一次可以看見五個明亮度不同的太陽。一天中的明亮度也會都不一樣,當不同的太陽掩食時,一年裡一大部分的時間可能都會是夜晚,當全部的恆星都跑到星球的另一面時。”

kepler_quadruple4.JPG aily Camera seeking interview about discovery of PH 1 Inbox x  Kevin Kaufman 2:21 PM (2 hours ago) to photo, me  Hey Can you download this and put in the archive for a story in tomorrow edition Joe Rubino wrote  Thanks .. kk ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Joe Rubino  Date: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 2:33 AM Subject: Fwd: Daily Camera seeking interview about discovery of PH 1 To: Kevin Kaufman  This is the hand-in art for the recently discovered planet story I am working on for Monday. Dirk Terrell, the Boulder astronomer who worked on the project, sent this to me as well as two smaller jpegs but this is by far the best resolution. Can we use it in this weird format though? ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Dirk Terrell  Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 20:12:35 -0600 Subject: Re: Daily Camera seeking interview about discovery of PH 1 To: Joe Rubino  Hi Joe, Amateur astronomers have helped discover an alien planet with two suns and a twinkling twist: The entire twin-sun setup, a real-life version of Tatooine from "Star Wars," is orbited by two more stars - a solar system that is the first of its kind known. The alien planet, called PH1, is a gas giant planet slightly bigger than Neptune. Its discovery in the midst of a strange, four-star planetary system is the first confirmed world discovered as part of the Yale University-led Planet Hunters project, in which armchair astronomers work with professional scientists to find evidence of new worlds in the bountiful data collected by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Here is one of the images in higher resolution (24MB TIFF file): http://data.boulder.swri.edu/~terrell/kepler_quadruple4.tif I'll work on getting the other one up soon... Dirk

這系統會繼續被研究讓我們可以更知道它是怎麼形成的。

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來源: Iflscience

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