Planet OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LBb Orbits in Binary Star System

Although the planet orbits one of the two stars at almost the same distance that the Earth orbits the Sun, that particular star is much dimmer, meaning that the planet itself is probably colder than Jupiter’s moon Europa.

That said, the researchers say the dynamics of the system show that it is possible for the planet to maintain a stable orbit if that parent star was of the same mass and energy as the Sun. If that were the case, the planet could be considered habitable.

“This greatly expands the potential locations to discover habitable planets in the future,” said Scott Gaudi, an astronomer researcher at Ohio State University who participated in the research. “Half the stars in the galaxy are in binary systems. We had no idea if Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits could even form in these systems.”

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