from the next-week-aliens dept.
DevotedSkeptic writes "Kepler has continued its stellar (pun intended) discovery spree, this time locating multiple planets orbiting a binary star system. This is especially interesting because it proves that more than one planet can form under the stresses of a binary star system. The system is known as a circumbinary planetary system, a mechanism where a planet orbits two stars. Prior to this discovery, having multiple planets in a circumbinary system was unproven. Named Kepler-47, the system consists of a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other every 7.5 days. One star is similar in size to our Sol, however it only provides approximately 84% of Sol's light, the other is smaller, measuring one third of the size of Sol and emits less than 1% of Sol's light. Kepler-47b is the closer planet to its two suns, orbiting in 50 Earth days. Kepler-47c is further out and orbits every 303 days, within the Goldilocks zone. 'Unlike our sun, many stars are part of multiple-star systems where two or more stars orbit one another. The question always has been — do they have planets and planetary systems? This Kepler discovery proves that they do,' said William Borucki, Kepler mission principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. 'In our search for habitable planets, we have found more opportunities for life to exist.'"
"Little prigs and three-quarter madmen may have the conceit that the laws of
nature are constantly broken for their sakes."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche