Binary Bros

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Astronomers recently discovered a unique binary star system forming three separate planetary systems following a three-decade study of the young celestial bodies, Newsweek reported.

For years, scientists had been observing the SVS 13 double-star system, which is located around 980 light-years away from Earth. The two young stars – or stellar embryos – sit together in a disk of gas and dust and, in total, have nearly the same mass as our Sun.

In their findings, researchers explained that each star was surrounded by one disk of gas and dust that would form the building blocks of the planets. The binary suns were also surrounded by a larger planetary disk, which feeds matter into the small individual disks.

“This system shows that there will be planets with two suns in the sky and maybe even planets that orbit only one of the stars and which have no nights for part of their year,” said lead author Ana Karla Díaz-Rodríguez.

Her team added that the planetary-forming ingredients also included 13 complex organic molecules that could help start life in those planets.

Co-author Gary Fuller noted that this peculiar binary and planetary system resembles the fictional desert planet of Tatooine of the “Star Wars” franchise, which is also located in a double-sun system.

“The two suns are a binary system that formed together and our observations show the material out of which planets like Tatooine could eventually form,” he said.

Even so, Díaz-Rodríguez said the study could help “theoreticians refine their models of how these systems form.”

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