Astronomers “covered” an exoplanet in a triple star system

An international team of astronomers has withdrawn an article published in 2016 in Science magazine. It was dedicated to the discovery of an exoplanet in the HD 131399 system, which consists of three stars.

HD 131399 system as imagined by an artist. Source: ESO / L. Calçada / M. Corn knife

The HD 131399 system is located 350 light-years from the Sun. It consists of three luminaries of spectral classes A, G and K. During direct observations of the system, astronomers noticed one more object. It was classified as a gas giant orbiting one of the stars of HD 131399 system, its mass is four times the mass of Jupiter.

The high-profile discovery attracted special attention from the scientific community. However, during further observations, other teams of astronomers questioned the conclusions of their colleagues. A more detailed analysis showed that the “exoplanet” is most likely not part of HD 131399 and is a much further background object.

This finding led the first group of researchers to re-analyze their previous work and then conduct new observations of HD 131399. They found a significant difference in the distance between HD 131399 and an object mistaken for an exoplanet. This means that it is really the background body, most likely a distant star.

Despite the obvious frustration of astronomers, the “covering ” of the exoplanet is also important. It clearly demonstrates the difficulties that arise when correlating the position of celestial bodies, and the need to re-examine the findings of other teams of researchers.

You can also read about the recent “covering ” of a black hole. According to