by Paul Rincon
Astronomers have discovered a very rare system of five connected stars.
The quintuplet consists of a pair of closely linked stars – binaries – one of which has a lone companion; it is the first known system of its kind.
The pair of stars orbit around a mutual centre of gravity, but are separated by more than the distance of Pluto’s orbit around the Sun.
The findings have been presented at the UK National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
The unusual system lies 250 light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It was discovered in data gathered by the SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) project.
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