A Puzzling New Planet With Four Suns

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
Oct. 16 2012 1:43 PM

A Puzzling New Planet With Four Suns

PH1, the newly discovered planet

Courtesy of Haven Giguere/Yale.

Amateur astronomers have found a new planet that has four suns, the first quadruple star system ever discovered.  

The distant Neptune-like world orbits one pair of stars that in turn have a second stellar pair revolving around them, which is a bit of a head-scratcher. As a University of Oxford researcher told the BBC, "All four stars pulling on it creates a very complicated environment. Yet there it sits in an apparently stable orbit. That's really confusing, which is one of the things which makes this discovery so fun."


The planet and stars were discovered by two volunteers using planethunters.org, a website that relies on human pattern recognition to identify planetary transits in data made available from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Named PH1, after the planethunters website, the planet's existence was confirmed by scientists using Hawaii's Keck Observatory.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.