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Published on Jun 14, 2016
3700 light-years away, towards the constellation Cygnus, two stars orbit each other. The binary system Kepler-1647 is approximately 4.4 billion years old and has a gas giant. Kepler-1647b has a mass and radius nearly identical to that of Jupiter, making it the largest transiting circumbinary planet found so far. Although the planet takes 1107 days to orbit its host stars, it lies in the habitable zone. If Kepler-1647b has terrestrial moons, they could potentially be suitable for life.
Credits: Lynette Cook/B. Quarles Kepler-1647b: the largest and longest-period Kepler transiting circumbinary planet Veselin B. Kostov, Jerome A. Orosz, William F. Welsh, Laurance R. Doyle, Daniel C. Fabrycky, Nader Haghighipour, Billy Quarles, Donald R. Short, William D. Cochran, Michael Endl, Eric B. Ford, Joao Gregorio, Tobias C. Hinse, Howard Isaacson, Jon M. Jenkins, Eric L. N. Jensen, Stephen Kane, Ilya Kull, David W. Latham, Jack J. Lissauer, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Tsevi Mazeh, Tobias W. A.Muller, Joshua Pepper, Samuel N. Quinn, Darin Ragozzine, Avi Shporer, Jason H. Steffen, Guillermo Torres, Gur Windmiller, William J. Borucki Astrophysical Journal, arXiv:1512.00189v2