Astronomers have detected the first planet in a solar system with three suns, a finding that challenges prevailing theories about planetary creation.
Using the Keck I telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Maciej Konacki of Caltech found the gaseous planet in the star system HD 188753, located 149 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.
The system is made up of two stars that spin around each other while orbiting a large central star, according to a report in the current issue of the journal Nature.
The gas planet, which also orbits the large central star, is about the size of Jupiter.
"The sky view from the surface would be spectacular, with an occasional triple sunset," Konacki said.
He began studying the distant solar system in 2003. He detected the planet by observing tiny gravitational tugs, exerted by the planet and the two smaller stars, that caused the central star to wobble.