Star Wars 'Shamed' As Rare Five Star System Discovered By The SuperWASP Project

The SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) project has made a rather rare discovery, that could put the 'Star Wars makers to shame'.

Scientists spotted a five-star system, where they would usually expect to find stars in pairs or in multiple networks.

The research is being presented at today's National Astronomy Meeting at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wales.

Within this unusual system are a pair of binary stars -- two stars that revolve around each other -- and another lone companion star.

They orbit around a common centre of gravity and are found in the constellation of Ursa Major that is around 250 light years away from earth.

The SuperWASP project uses low cost cameras placed in South Africa and the Canary Islands to scan the skies, measuring the brightness of stars against time.

Both sets of binary stars are separated by around 21 billion km -- a distance that is larger than Pluto's orbit around the sun.

Co-author Dr Markus Lohr, from the Open University, told the BBC:

"This is a truly exotic star system. In principle there's no reason why it couldn't have planets in orbit around each of the pairs of stars. Any inhabitants would have a sky that would put the makers of Star Wars to shame.

"There could sometimes be no fewer than five Suns of different brightnesses lighting up the landscape."

May the force be with us.