NASA’s Kepler telescope has given up a lot of data, and hidden among the boring stuff is hot planet action, namely two planets sharing the same orbit.
Located in a solar system called KOI-730, the planets are 60 degrees apart, meaning each shines constantly in the other’s sky.
This was theoretically possible; when a huge object (like a planet) orbits an enormous object (like a sun), spots called Lagrange points exist 60 degrees ahead and 60 degrees behind the planet. There are even theories that this was what formed the moon.
We’ve seen this in action with asteroids and planets, but never with two planets before. So, this is pretty neat, and justifies all those awesome Boris Vallejo paintings. Hooray astronomy!
[ via the Lagrange points at New Scientist ]
I want more like this!
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