Amateur Astronomers Discover a Four-Star Planet with NASA's Kepler

A Four-Star Planet: An artist's illustration of PH1, a planet discovered by volunteers from the Planet Hunters citizen science project. PH1, shown in the foreground, is the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double-star that, in turn, is orbited by a second distant pair of stars. The phenomenon is called a circumbinary planet in a four-star system.
Image credit: Haven Giguere/Yale

 

Congratulations to the amateur astronomers who helped find the four-star planet!

"A joint effort of volunteer citizen scientists and scientists has led to the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double star that, in turn, is orbited by a second distant pair of stars. Aided by volunteer citizen scientists using the Planethunters.org website, a Yale-led international team of astronomers identified and confirmed discovery of the phenomenon, called a circumbinary planet in a four-star system. Only six planets are known to orbit two stars but none of these are orbited by a distant binary." via JPL

The volunteer citizen scientists referred to above are amateur astronomers!

Find your local astronomy club and hang out with amateur astronomers. You can be an amateur astronomer - clubs are always looking for new members and you don't have to know anything about astronomy. 

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