Study looks at planets orbiting binary stars, finds most migrated to current location

Feb 3, 2014

A new study has been published that looks at binary star systems that have planets orbiting. The study has found that most of the planets are beleived to have formed farther away from the binary stars than they currently orbit in all but one known instance. The team looked at several binary systems with planets for the study.

One of those binary star systems is Kepler-34(AB)b. That planet is known as a circumbinary planet because the planet's orbit has two stars that it circles. The scientists say that the powerful gravitational forces from those two stars can lead to cosmic collisions and forces that make the planet hard to explain.

The team says that simulations show that the circumbinary disk is a hostile environment even for large and strong objects like planets. Kepler34(AB)b would have had a hard time growing where it is found now according to the team. As harsh as the environment is where the planet now orbits, the team believes that the planet was formed further from the central binary stars.

The planets are believed to have migrated towards the stars from their original location. The results of the study lead the researchers to believe that this is how all circumbinary planets achieved their current orbit with one possible exception. The planet Kepler-47(AB)c is further away from the binary stars than any other planet of its type and may have formed in its current orbit.

SOURCE: Ibtimes

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