15 June 2016 Current Affairs: Scientists have discovered a Jupiter-like planet, Kepler-1647b, orbiting a system of two stars, making it the largest such cosmic body ever found.
The planet Kepler-1647b, located in the constellation Cygnus, was discovered by astronomers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre and San Diego State University (SDSU) in the US.
Researchers said that the Kepler-1647 is 3700 light-years away and about 4.4 billion years old, roughly the same age as the Earth.
The planet was discovered by using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, an instrument launched in 2009 to look for potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system.The stars are similar to the Sun, with one slightly larger than our home star and the other slightly smaller.
The planet has a mass and radius nearly identical to that of Jupiter, making it the largest transiting circumbinary planet ever found. Planets that orbit two stars are known as circumbinary planets. It takes 1107 days (over three years) to orbit its host stars, which is the longest period of any confirmed transiting exoplanet found so far.
Orbit of the planet puts it within the so-called habitable zone, which means the range of distances from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.Like Jupiter, it is also a gas giant, making the planet unlikely to host life.The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.