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Astronomers Find Earth-Like Planet in a Two-Sun System

Update Date: Jul 04, 2014 09:04 AM EDT
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Astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a single star in a two-star system, nearly 3,000 light-years away. 

According to researchers, there may be more planets in the newly discovered two-star system. 

"In the past, whenever we saw a binary system we just stopped looking for planets," said Andrew Gould, an astronomer at Ohio State University, according to LA Times. "Now we realize it is a pretty big planet hunting ground."

Researchers explained that it is not a problem for a planet to exist in a system where the two stars are relatively close to each other. However, up until now, it was not clear that a planet could form in such a system. 

"Planets don't form out of thin air, they form out of disks of material, and it hasn't been known if this disk of material could remain stable enough to form a planet in the presence of another star," Gould said. "We didn't have any evidence one way or another."

Researchers added that the newly discovered world is twice as massive as the Earth and it orbits its host star at about the same distance that we orbit the sun. 

"One of these stars would feel like it was your star, and the other one would be a bright point of light," said Gould, according to LA Times.

The paper describing the planet's discovery was published Thursday in the journal Science

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