Discoverer and lead author Kevin Wagner said he’s thrilled “to have seen such a beautiful part of nature that nobody else.
else has seen.”
As amazing as three sunsets and sunrises are, “I think nature will have some other surprises in store for us as we continue exploring,” Wagner, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona at Tucson, said via email.
Triple-star systems with detected planets are rare enough; this is believed to be just the fifth such discovery. But the giant gassy world in this one — formally known as Planet HD 131399Ab — has the biggest known orbit in a multi-star system.
“With three suns, the planet will see different weird combinations of sunrises and sunsets,” said co-author Daniel Apai, a University of Arizona astronomer.
He added: “This is a system for which I would not want to design a calendar.”