Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Aug 28, 2012
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the first transiting circumbinary system -- multiple planets orbiting two suns -- 4,900 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, proving that more than one planets can form and survive in orbit around a binary star.
The inner planet, Kepler-47b, orbits the pair of stars in less than 50 days. It is thought to be a sweltering world, where the destruction of methane in its super-heated atmosphere might lead to a thick haze that could blanket the planet. At three times the radius of Earth, Kepler-47b is the smallest known transiting circumbinary planet.
The outer planet, Kepler-47c, orbits its host pair every 303 days, placing it in the so-called "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. While not a world hospitable for life, Kepler-47c is thought to be a gaseous giant, slightly larger than Neptune, where an atmosphere of thick bright water clouds might exist.