Some worlds have more than one sun in their sky. Now scientists say they’ve confirmed the existence of the largest-ever planet orbiting a pair of binary stars - a gas giant with the same mass and radius as Jupiter. Exoplanets such as this one - situated in their stars’ habitable zone and massive enough to lasso in many rocky moons - could be an interesting place to go looking for signs of alien life.
The newly confirmed behemoth has been dubbed Kepler-1647 b, and it sits 3,700 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles. At an estimated 4.4 billion years old, it’s roughly the same age as Earth. But it’s nothing like our home planet. It’s what is known as a circumbinary world - one that orbits two suns that dance together as a binary pair - and it’s the size of Jupiter, a planet with a diameter more than 11 times that of Earth’s. Its suns are pretty similar to our own (one is slightly smaller and the other slightly larger) but, well, there are two of them.