Astronomers are baffled by the discovery of an alien world with a tilted orbit

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The orbit of an exoplanet around a star in a binary star system has been imaged in three dimensions for the first time. The planet orbits its star at a different angle to the plane of the two stars’ orbits, and this misalignment could provide clues about how planets form in binary systems.

The Exoplanet, GJ 896Ab (note the planet’s lower case b), discovered the binary system GJ 896AB (note the capital A and B of the two stars) located 20.3 light-years from Earth. Astronomers observed its motion Binary star system Additional data was collected by the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a network of 10 radio telescopes across the United States, from 2006 to 2011, aided by archived optical observations from 1941 to 2017. The researchers also made new observations with the VLBA in 2020.

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