Aliens on This World Would See a Double Sunset

Article written: 22 Feb , 2007
Updated: 19 Jun , 2013
by

Gamma Cephei A+B. Image credit: Calar AltoImagine a world orbiting a star in a binary system. Two stars would shine in the day, and the rare nights would occur only when both stars had set below the horizon. Now astronomers have discovered a world where this is the case – the sunsets would be spectacular.

The planet is located in the gamma Cephei system, and has about 1.7 times the mass of Jupiter. It completes an orbit once every 3 years. Astronomers have known about the bright main star and its planet, but now they’ve been able to tease out images of a much dimmer second star.

The two stars are separated by only 20 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The brigher Cephei A has about 1.5 times the mass of the Sun, while the dimmer Cephei B has about half the mass of the Sun. The planet orbits the brighter star.

The images were captured using the Japanese Subaru telescope located in Hawaii, and the Calar Alto telescope in Spain.

Original Source: Calar Alto Observatory News Release


1 Response

  1. Joe M. says

    It would be awesome if there were two suns for Earth like that, we could probably end up having full days of nothing but light where we see only one of the suns during the day and one at night, then there might be where we see both in the day, making it a hotter day, but then probably much cooler at night.

Leave a Reply