Science fiction is by no means a cult genre. There are plenty of people who like the style, and for good reason. Good science fiction can make for some of the most interesting storytelling out there. And if the imagery matches the story in their high quality, you have a pretty much guaranteed classic. Look no further than at one of the best science fiction movies ever made – Star Wars.
The first movie in the recently reinvigorated series became an instant classic when it came out. Compelling storytelling, intriguing characters, and stunning visuals were what brought the movie its fame. And how could they not? Just picture the scene of Luke staring out into the distance while the twin suns of Tattooine are setting in the distance.
Planet of three suns
A team of researchers using the adorably named KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope) recently discovered a very intriguing exoplanet. Quite close to our home world, the recently found exoplanet has three suns, making it a very special egg indeed. Sadly, though, according to the experts on the project, the three sun exoplanet is too hot for us to visit.
While those with a higher degree of pop culture knowledge would compare the planet to Namek instead of Tattooine because of its three suns, KELT-4Ab is actually similar to neither. This is because its three suns – KELT-4A, the primary star, and the binary system composed of KELT-4B and KELT-4C referred to as KELT-4BC – are so strangely situated in regards to out hot Jupiter.
More about KELT-4Ab
For those not in the know, a hot Jupiter is a planet very similar to our very own neighboring space rock – gas giants that are hotter because of their proximity to their stars. This often makes them uninhabitable due to the increased outer surfaces and to the changes suffered by the atmosphere because of the planets’ proximity to the stars.
But the situation in which Kelt-4Ab finds itself is of particular interest. The incredible orbiting speed of the planet, which manages to orbit around its primary star in just three days, as well as its presence in a three-star system makes it an invaluable source of information. This is mostly because scientists still consider the gravitational conditions in a three star system to be close to impossible for the formation of planets.
What would it look like?
So, regardless of the fact that the planet’s surface is covered in molten rock pretty much like Earth is covered in water, of the fact that the atmosphere would instantly kill you, and the fact that the primary star would immediately burn you away, what would you see if you were to visit the planet’s surface?
Well, it would definitely not look anything like either Tattooine or Namek. KELT-4A would take up a huge portion of the sky, around 40% wider that our sun appears during a perfectly clear day. Meanwhile, the two smaller stars would appear far smaller, appearing no larger or brighter than a full moon. They would, however, look like they’re constantly hugging each other in a never ending orbital waltz.
Image source: Wikimedia