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Binary Suns

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Never, ever forget your sunscreen on Tatooine.

"I cannot tell you what it meant to me to see the two suns of Ferro set behind the dry mountain east of my home."
— Opening line of A Dry, Quiet War by Tony Daniel

A Sub-Trope of Alien Sky where a planet has two suns in the sky, either orbiting one of them or travelling in a long orbit around both of the stars. Occurs primarly in sci-fi settings, but certainly isn't limited to it.

It is uncertain how likely it is that habitable planets would form in the presence of two suns (for the sake of Rule of Cool, though, it's best not to ask). So there is still some Artistic License – Space involved. Also keep in mind that everything would of course have two shadows, though if the suns significantly differ in luminosity then the one shadow will be noticeably darker than the other.

There are three realistic possibilities for this arrangement:
  • Type I: "Twin Suns" — The suns rise and fall with each other, indicating that the suns orbit each other closely and the planet orbits their shared center of mass. This is called a circumbinary or "P-type" orbit.
  • Type II: "Close Stars" — The suns may occupy different parts of the sky, indicating that one sun orbits the other farther out than the planet, but not far enough for the stars to have their own separate habitable zones.
    • Subtype II a: "Bright And Dark Seasons" — With low axial tilt or near the equator, at one point both suns will appear close in the sky, and it becomes night when both set. About half a planet year later, usually one sun will be in the sky, and there will hardly be a real night.
    • Subtype II b: "Midnight Sun" — With high axial tilt or near the poles, the outer sun may remain above/below the horizon for many years.
  • Type III: "1 1/2 Suns" — The planet has one "Sun", with night and day according to it, but another star in the same system is identifiable as a small sun that contributes some heat and sometimes leaves night more like twilight. This indicates that the planet orbits a single star in a double-star system, and the stars orbit each other at a large enough distance for one or both to have its/their own separate habitable zone(s). This is by far the most likely arrangement in reality as far as habitable planets go, and many such planets (including Proxima Centauri b, the closest known exoplanet to Earth) have already been discovered.

There are also unrealistic and unstable configurations:

  • Type IV: "Between Two Suns" — The planet is positioned at the first Lagrange point in the suns' orbit around eachother (the point in between them where their gravitational pulls cancel eachother out), providing for Endless Daytime. The reason this wouldn't work is because It's a case of Unstable Equilibrium, and thus the minor gravitational pull from the other bodies in the system (or, barring that, other nearby stars) would nudge the planet enough to eventually pull it out of "orbit".
  • Type V: "Figure 8" or similar — The planet orbits one sun, then the other, in a regular way. If the suns of Type I are too far from each other, it may also become this.note 

Type IV and V would realistically decay into:

  • Type VI: "Chaotic Orbit" — A planet in chaotic orbit might exist, but wouldn't be able to support life. Also, the chaotic orbit would eventually throw the planet into one of the suns, or out of the system.note 

Planets have been found in trinary and quaternary star systems, but the more stars you add (up to septenary systems have been discovered in real life), the harder it becomes to find a stable orbit for the planets to occupy.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the later part of Braiger, and throughout its sequels Bikezinger & Sasuliger, the Solar System becomes a binary star system after Big Bad Carmen Khamen uses the J9 robots' size-changing "Synchron System" to increase Jupiter's mass to the point where it can sustain nuclear fusion.
  • Planet Namek in Dragon Ball has three suns, and perpetual daytime because at least one of them is always in the sky at any given time. Both Frieza and Vegeta are aware of this, and the sight of the sky turning dark can only mean that the planet's Dragon Balls are being used. Exaggerated with the Supreme Kai's planet, which is completely surrounded by suns.
  • The eponymous stars of The Five Star Stories may or may not be a quintary star system, though the English translation inconsistently renders it as either "star cluster", which usually have thousands of stars, or the patently absurd "galaxy". At any rate they're far enough apart that you usually can't see them from each other's planets during daytime.
  • While GaoGaiGar mainly takes place 20 Minutes into the Future on good ol' Earth, Mamoru and Kaidou actually hail from the green and red planets of a trinary solar system, and almost the entirety of the OVA series GaoGaiGar FINAL takes place there as well.
  • In Trigun, Gunsmoke is a desert world with twin suns. Word of God has since placed it in orbit around Delta Trianguli, a nearby star system.

    Asian Animation 

    Card Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Mirrodin has five suns — one for each color of mana. They orbit the planet instead of vice versa, but their gravitational effects on each other and Mirrodin would cause some different problems.
    • Arguably justified in that they are made of pure mana.
    • Amonkhet has two suns: a "normal" sun that moves normally across the sky, and a second one that moves slowly. As such, its almost perpetually drenched in daylight.
    • The desert plane of Gobakhan has two suns.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In one strip, Calvin imagines Spaceman Spiff landing on a hostile alien planet "scorched by twin suns".

    Film — Animated 
  • The BFG: Giant Country has two suns, one yellow and one green, meaning that its set in another dimension rather than another country like in the novel.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact: Earth (and the rest of the Solar System) becomes this when Jupiter is turned into a small star.
  • The Dark Crystal features three suns of differing sizes and colors, with the climax happening When The Suns Align.
  • In Escape to Witch Mountain the telepathic and telekinetic siblings Tia and Tony eventually learn that they are aliens who fled to earth to escape their dying planet, a world which had two suns. Tia's "starcase", which is crucial to the plot, is decorated with an emblem depicting two stars.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • In Pitch Black, the main planet has three suns, and has almost constant daytime. However, when nighttime does fall, there's serious trouble.
  • Star Wars:
    • One of the best known examples, the iconic double-sunset Luke Skywalker contemplates on Tatooine in A New Hope. Also indirectly the Trope Namer; the soundtrack name is Binary Sunset.
    • The planet Ahch-To from The Last Jedi has a double-sunset as well. And Luke contemplates it again as he dies and becomes one with the Force after channeling an illusion on Crait to fool the First Order and helps save what's left of the Resistance, book ending his life as a Hope Bringer for the galaxy.

  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Nightfall (1990): Out of the six suns of Kalgash, both Tano-Sitha and Patru-Trey are described as being binary pairs, meaning they are always in the sky together.
    • Dr Asimov later realized such a system is unlikely to be stable, so he wrote "Sucker Bait'' — only two suns, "but this time, I'm getting it right".
  • Astreiant: The planet on which the novels are set orbits the larger star of a binary system. The inhabitants call the smaller star the Winter-Sun.
  • In the Bounders series, the Youli homeworld has three suns, although the climate is quite temperate. It's never explained exactly how the orbit works.
  • Cadre: A planet which quickly becomes significant in the trilogy has three suns with visibly differing masses and ages, as well as a black hole close enough to be usually visible in the daytime sky. The sheer uniqueness of this arrangement, coupled with the fact that the first colonists lost navigational control and spent over a month helpless before gravitational forces neatly brought them to the planet, led to the foundation of a system of religious philosophy which dominates the latter two books.
  • Childhood's End briefly visits a planet that orbits eight stars. This gives it an utterly bizarre orbit in which every moment brings a unique arrangement of planet and stars.
  • The Dark Light Years: The homeworld of the utods is in a trinary star system, and has a very peculiar orbit: periodically, the combined gravities of the two other suns pull the planet away from its current sun, moving it to circle a different one.
  • Elcenia: Barashi has two suns, one brighter and one dimmer. As such, everything there naturally casts two shadows.
  • Expedition: Darwin IV has twin suns. The term "sunslight" is used several times in the text to remind readers of this.
  • In Fractured Stars, the empire rules over a trinary star system, with planets following a variety of orbits.
  • Helliconia is set in a binary system, with the eponymous planet orbiting a dim sun called Batalix, and both Helliconia and Batalix orbiting a larger blue giant star called Freyr in a slow, highly elliptical orbit. This gives Helliconia centuries-long seasons, with powerful consequences for the development of its human civilization.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Arthur Dent is impressed by watching a twin sunset from Magrathea. Marvin is a little more jaded.
  • Honor Harrington has a lot of binary star systems.
    • Manticore and Sphinx orbit Manticore-A while Gryphon orbits Manticore-B. However, they are what's called a distant binary with enough separation that Manticore-B would just be a very bright star in the night skies of Manticore and Sphinx.
    • A similar situation (with only one habitable planet per sun) in the Nuncio system in the Talbott Cluster. These may actually be more realistic since current models suggest that telluric (rocky) planets can't form stable orbits in a binary system where the two stars are close enough to form a traditional two suns situation
  • Kadingir is partially set in Ki, a planet in a parallel dimension which orbits around two suns, Utu and Kili, in a figure eight orbit. The immense pressure that their combined gravitational pull subjected the planet to was countered millennia ago by an ancient civilization with the creation of the Worldwide Dome, which surrounds Ki like an artificial atmosphere. A few characters have complained that this is the reason why they can't enjoy satellite TV.
  • The Lost Fleet: Binary stars become a plot point. The jump points around them are unstable meaning that while you can use a jump drive to leave a binary system it's functionally impossible to use them to reach a binary system. However, it is possible to use sub-light travel to get to a binary system and then build a hypernet gate (the second form of FTL travel in the series) in order to allow travel to and from the system. As such, most binary systems aren't inhabited or visited. There is a mention that in the backstory that at least one colony deliberately set off for a binary star system in order to get away from the rest of humanity. In the last book it turns out that Unity Alternate was setup in a binary star system as a security precaution. It was accessible by hypernet but the coordiantes for reaching that gate with kept secret.
  • Night's Dawn Trilogy: Norfolk orbits the primary star of a binary system, lending a unique system involving "Duke day" (full white sunlight from the primary, Duke), "Duchess night" (red sunlight from the secondary, Duchess) and true night for the portions hidden from both stars. Duke day lasts for the same time all the time (at least at the equator), but Duchess night and true night pass between complete Duchess night and complete true night depending on the planet's position around its orbit.
  • "Placet is a Crazy Place": Placet orbits two suns in a figure-of-eight. When it is between the suns, the human colonists experience visual hallucinations. This is only one of the reasons why it is considered crazy.
  • Quest For The Fallen Star has the world in a figure-8 orbit, with another planet called Coldaria orbiting the whole system at a great distance.
  • Red Moon Rising (Holt): The star system the book takes place in has two suns.
  • Second Sons: The Ranadon star system orbits two suns, one a big red one seen at night and the other a little yellow one during the day, as seen from the planet Ranadon. Every so often the red sun goes wandering, causing an "Age of Shadows".
  • The eponymous planet of Solaris is orbiting two suns of different colours, hence two different types of day (white and red). The orbit's weird stability is a plot point — basically, the alien goo that "inhabits" the place has learned to influence gravity somehow. We never learn just how intelligent — or sentient - it really is, but things humans need futuristic tech to achieve are a snap of the metaphorical fingers to it.
  • Star Carrier: The first book's Eta Boötis System consists of a large sun and a white dwarf, with the inhabited planet Haris orbiting about twice as far out as the dwarf. This is suspected as a possibility for the real life Eta Boötis, but not currently confirmed.
  • Star Trek: The Lost Era: Naxera orbits two suns named for mythological brothers — G'Dok and Leahru — who also give their names to the two largest Naxeran castes.
  • The Three-Body Problem: Trisolaris has three suns and is a nasty Death World as a result. When it orbits any one sun, it goes into a Stable Era, during which conditions are actually pretty mild. However, the rest of the time it's being kicked around like a football during Chaotic Eras, where it alternates between broiling heat and freezing cold with absolutely no rhyme or reason at all. On particularly close or distant passes, temperatures may melt rock or drop to near absolute zero. Sometimes, the three suns align in a straight line with Trisolaris at one end, causing everything on the surface to literally fall into the nearest sun. Due to the eponymous three-body problem, all of this happens completely at random, and cannot be predicted at all. The only reason anything lives there at all is that native life adapted to dehydrate indefinitely and then come back when conditions got better.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alien Worlds (2020): Eden orbits two stars, a brighter yellow one and dimmer red one. This drastically increases the amount of sunlight it receives, fueling the planet's lush environments.
  • Angel: The two suns in Pylea.
  • Defiance: While it's never specified if the Votan system had two stars before the stellar collision, one of the songs on the soundtrack mentions "twin suns".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's homeworld Gallifrey is in a binary star system.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": Messaline has three suns.
    • As does San Helios from "Planet of the Dead".
    • The human colony world in "Smile" has two suns.
    • "The Ghost Monument": The planet known as Desolation has three suns. When trying to work out how a boat engine works, they quickly realise it must be solar powered.
  • Extraterrestrial (2005): The blue moon's parent planet orbits a binary system. The narration notes that these systems were once thought unable to support planets in stable orbits, but that this is now believed to be possible if the planet is far enough from the suns or if it orbits only one.
  • Firefly: The original Firefly series was a little unclear if it took place in a single star system or several. However, by the time of the Big Damn Movie Serenity, they nailed it down to a cluster of gravitationally bound stars (five main sequence and seven protostars) with dozens of planets that required extensive terraforming to be even marginally habitable.
  • Odd Squad: The end of "Soundcheck" shows that as a result of the eponymous boy band (bar Danny T, and plus Otto) playing their hit "Gonna Add One", where they sing the title four times during the chorus, four was added to a myriad of objects, including the sun — meaning that Earth now has five suns.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Nightmare", the Ebonites' solar system is said to have two suns.
  • Sesame Street: In episode 3990, Elmo reads to María a story he wrote and illustrated about an imagined trip to a planet with two suns in its sky.
  • Smallville: The Phantom Zone has two suns. When Lois is trapped in the phantom zone with Clark, this leads her to thinks she is not still in Kansas.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The series features three binary systems in the first five seasons alone. The Jaffa world Chulak is a heavily forested planet orbiting a binary. A later episode briefly has SG-1 trapped on a binary-orbiting desert world because the stargate overheated when the second sun rose, preventing them from dialing out.
    • The Aschen have the ability to create artificial binary systems by inducing fusion in gas giants. Somehow, the resulting star system is actually stable, as evidenced by the planet Volia in "2001". This is a Shout-Out to Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two, wherein the same is done to Jupiter.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Night Terrors" is set in a binary system.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • In "Prime Factors", a beautiful alien woman takes Harry Kim onto a transporter so they can find a Make-Out Point. When Harry sees this trope however, he realises they've traveled to another star system and forgets all about the woman in his arms, as Voyager is in desperate need of a means to get back to Earth, being trapped on the other side of the galaxy.
      • Neelix picks up an Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn when he makes the mistake of sunbathing under twin suns without sunscreen.
    • Star Trek: Picard:
      • The planet Vashti is located in a binary star system, and both suns shine down on North Station.
      • There's an octonary star system where eight stars are arranged in seven distinct orbits: four pairs of stars orbit each other, two pairs of those orbit each other in a larger radius, and those two pairs orbit each other in the largest radius. There's a habitable planet named Aia in the center of the main orbit. It was artificially constructed so that any spacefaring civilization would notice it and investigate, since the odds of such a system forming naturally would be infinitesimal.
  • Tin Man: The Outer Zone has dual suns and several moons. The plot concerns an upcoming double eclipse in which both suns are behind one of the moons at once.
  • The Tomorrow People (1973) briefly mentioned a planet called QX5 that orbited two suns.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Elegy", the cemetery asteroid Happy Glades' star system has two suns.
    • In "The Little People", the planet on which the astronauts William Fletcher and Peter Craig land to repair their ship has two suns.
    • In "On Thursday We Leave for Home", V9-Gamma's star system has two suns. As a result, the planet experiences Endless Daytime. A young boy named Jo-Jo has no concept of what night is.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Uncle Devil Show", Joey creates a fantasy world with two suns by following Uncle Devil's instructions on the Tim Ferret and Friends video. When his mother tells him to come inside before the sun goes down, he asks her which one.

    Tabletop Games 
  • R. Talsorian's Mekton game line uses a default setting of the Algol star system, correctly identified and diagrammed as a quaternary system, the fours stars being Algol, Kobol, Minbar, and the Dark Companion. The "dark" companion is a G0 yellow dwarf, just like Sol.
  • The Tau Empire sept world of Vior'la in Warhammer 40,000 orbits a binary star. Its orbit causes it to pass between the two stars every year, close enough for the planet's surface to be ravaged by intense plasma storms, with the Tau living in specialized Hab-domes during this season. It's also well known for producing some of the toughest and elite members of the Fire Warrior Caste, so it should come as little surprise that the name Vior'la is Tau for "Hot-Blooded".

  • In Metru Nui, of the BIONICLE franchise, there are two suns. They're actually the eyes of the robot Mata Nui, and Metru Nui is his brain. The matoran are maintenance systems, comparable in size to cells in the human body. When the suns "go out" is when Makuta put Mata Nui "to sleep".

    Video Games 
  • Angry Birds Star Wars features Tatooine and its two suns, although it shows them as a big red star and a smaller yellow one.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: Irdya, the world of the game, originally has only one sun, but another is raised to banish the darkness. And Man Grew Proud and attempted to raise a third sun, transforming the known world into a wasteland when it crashes down. Hence, the campaign taking place After the End is called "Under the Burning Suns" and the new day/night cycle becomes an important game mechanic.
  • Elite Dangerous: There are quite a lot of these present. Much like the rest of the layout of the galaxy, the setup is extremely realistic; binary (or even trinary) systems can have a lot of distance between their respective stars, and typically have a whole host of planets, moons, and stations orbiting each one. Unfortunately, this can make traveling through such a system a royal pain in the ass, if the stars are far enough apart.
  • EVE Online: Every system is at least binary system due to the unique gravity interactions needed to make a stable jump gate. The initial gate from Earth was named EVE and was due to the sudden appearance of a wormhole in the solar system. However, the developers seem to have forgotten this piece of background, as no system in the EVE cluster actually has more than one star (perhaps the other stars are all brown dwarfs and/or orbit very far from the other star?). However, in wormhole space, binary systems are common (although the second star exists only as a background texture rather than an object you can warp to).
  • Freelancer's Sirius Sector consists of dozens of star systems, many of which are binaries or more. Most of them look drop-dead gorgeous.
  • FreeSpace 2: A binary system features prominently during a mission deep behind enemy lines. The player's commander remarks that he'd like to get out of there ASAP, because "binary systems give me the creeps."
  • Little Big Adventure: The protagonist's home planet is called Twinsun, because it is situated between two suns.
  • OPUS: Echo of Starsong: While not immediately apparent, the system of Thousand Peaks is a binary system. However pretty much all of the asteroids and planets in the system are focused around the rather temperamental star of Ignis. The reason it can be hard to tell that it is a binary system is cause Ignis' partner is Excidium, a black hole, and speculated to be the reason to why the system is so empty past a certain point. Excidium does have some satellites of it's own however, most notably Banshee and Phoenix, both on wildy eliptical orbits.
  • Paper Mario 64: When in Dry Dry Desert, take a close look at the background during a battle: the Sun is crossing it slowly, but before it goes down on the right, another one is already rising of the left, meaning two suns can be seen in the sky simultaneously.
  • Perfect Dark: The Skedar homeworld is part of a trinity star system.
  • Psychonauts: It's sort of hard to notice, as the smaller, white one is likely to be obscured by the buildings or mountains, but the Lungfishopolis level has two suns.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. See Real Life below for a bit of further information.
    • Chiron — also called "Planet" — the planet where humans land, orbits Alpha Centauri A alone. Chiron is in a Type III situation. Alpha Centauri A and B orbit each other in a relatively close and mildly eccentric elliptical orbit, with them coming closest to each other (periastron) at about 11 AU (roughly the distance between the Sun and Saturn) and furthest apart from each other (apastron) at about 35 AU (roughly the distance between the Sun and Pluto); any planet orbiting in Alpha Centauri A's habitable zone would thus receive a non-negligible amount of light and heat from B (and vice-versa). Since the developers did their homework, whenever Hercules (Alpha Centauri B) reaches periastron, the native life on Planet experiences tremendous growth. There are also two moons: Nessus and Pholus.
  • The Sims 2: A little camera trickery reveals this to be the case for Sim Earth.
  • Spore: Some systems are Type 1. Habitable planets in such systems are typically farther away from the two suns, especially if one or both are blue stars. Since a planet in such a system would be getting illumination and consequently heating from both stars, and blue stars are the brightest and hottest stars of all, this makes a lot of sense.
  • Starshot: Space Circus Fever has Tensuns which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a planet with ten suns. Most notably, the game explicitly states those are artificial suns created to make Tensuns the ideal summer vacation planet where one get a perfect tan around the clock.
  • Stellaris: Many systems are Type 1 or 3 binary or trinary systems, and many of them have habitable planets (usually, but not always, orbiting the innermost star). It's even possible to have your species' homeworld in such a system.
  • Sunless Skies: Eleutheria, the dark and lawless region, once had two twin Judgements as its suns before one of them was murdered.
  • Super Mario Galaxy: The Melty Molten Galaxy consists of several mostly-lava planetoids that are sandwiched between two very close stars. Very close, as in probably no more than a couple miles apart.
  • Touhou Project: The Chinese legend of Houyi mentions the Earth once had nine suns, which threatened to burn the earth until he shot down all but one. In the game's backstory, however, one of them landed on and killed Junko's son, who has now become pure vengeance, killing Houyi and trying to kill his wife Chang'e.
  • Unreal: Na Pali orbits two suns. As a result, the sky sometimes looks similar to Earth's, while in others it takes alien shades of bluish-purple or gold, and in others all that's lit is nebulas of different colors. They even shine (separately) during the night, as seen in "Velora Pass" and beyond.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The dimension at the end of volume 8 has binary suns. Showing were ever RWBY, Jaune and Neo landed is not Remnant.

    Web Original 
  • Hamster's Paradise: The world the project takes place on, HP-02017, is located in a binary star system with a yellow dwarf called Alpha and a red dwarf called Beta. The planet orbits Alpha while Beta is further out and usually visible as a small red orb in the sky. However, at a certain time of day known as Beta Twilight, Beta is the only sun visible and the land is bathed in a dull red light, animals active at this time often develop red coloration as camouflage.
  • The What If? blog mentions Types I and II of this trope, calling them "circumbinary" and "the other kind", while discussing how rainbows would form on a planet with two suns.
  • One Not Always Right story had a tourist going to Iceland to see the "midnight sun"... only to get very pissed off to learn that the sun was in fact the same sun at midnight, not that there was a second one.

    Western Animation 
  • In Bravestarr, the planet New Texas has a "sky of three suns".
  • In Fangbone!, Fangbone's homeworld, Skullbania, has three suns. Even weirder is that unlike out Solar System, the suns revolve around the Earth instead of the other way.
  • An early episode of Futurama had the characters delivering a package to Trisol, a planet with three suns.
  • In Galaxy Rangers, the planet Granna is like this.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "My Three Suns", the gang visits Proxima B, an exoplanet that has three suns.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Besides Trope Codifier Tatooine appearing several times, the show also has water world Mon Cala.
  • Star Wars: Rebels:
    • "The Antilles Extraction" is set on the binary-star-orbiting planet Montross.
    • Discussed in "Visions and Voices". Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine discover that Obi-Wan Kenobi is still alive and living on a planet with twin suns. Sabine points out that that piece of information doesn't narrow the field of possible planets down much, because it turns out that in the Star Wars galaxy, as in real life, binary systems are extremely common.
    • Unsurprisingly, the episode "Twin Suns" features this, specifically Tatooine's.
  • The planet Prysmos in Visionaries has three suns and their alignment is what triggers a new Age of Magic.
  • Winx Club: Stella's homeworld Solaria has three suns. Because of this it never rains on Solaria, save for a brief period after Valtor stole the magic essence of the second sun.

    Real Life 
  • In any patch of the sky where you look at night, most of the points of light you'll see are binary or larger star systems — single-star systems, like ours, are relatively rare in comparison. The problem is rather whether a more or less Earthlike planet could exist there.
    • It has been hypothesized that our Sun has a faint companion star (a white, red, or brown dwarf), orbiting the Sun at a distance of about one light year. (The star was originally proposed to explain the apparent periodicity of extinction events; it even received an apt nickname: Nemesis.) However, recent space-based infrared surveys have confirmed that there is no such object within two lightyears.
  • The Alpha Centauri (Rigil Kentaurus and Toliman) system, consisting of a yellow and an orange dwarf, A and B, is the closest such star system to Earth. B is the somewhat smaller member of the duo. Additionally, Proxima Centauri, our closest stellar neighbour, is believed to orbiting Alpha A and B, which would make this a Trinary Sun for any planet around. Reality is unrealistic.
    • From any of the three known planets orbiting Proxima Centauri (0.21 light years away), A and B appear as stars, just a bit brighter than Venus from Earth. Proxima itself would be barely naked-eye visible from a planet of A or B.
    • Proxima has at least one rocky planet, Proxima Centauri b, which actually orbits in the star's habitable zone. Unfortunately, the amount of stellar wind it receives from Proxima would likely blow away any atmosphere, leaving it unable to support life as we know it. A second planet, a Neptune-like ice dwarf called Proxima Centauri c, has been detected but not yet confirmed to exist.
    • Viewed from a planet orbiting any star in the Alpha Centauri system, Sol would be a respectably bright star (about as bright as Vega looks on Earth) in the constellation Cassiopeia.
  • Zeta Reticuli is a Binary Star System made up of Zeta1 and Zeta2 Reticuli.
  • In 2011, scientists discovered Kepler 16b which is not a binary star... but a planet in stable orbit around a binary star system. It's been nicknamed Tatooine. Since then, several similar systems have been found.
    Relax on Kepler-16b, the land of two suns. Where your shadow always has company.
  • Enter the nearby triple system Gliese 667, whose third star (Gliese 667C) has at least two planets orbiting it, one of them in the habitable zone.
  • Polaris, the North Star, is actually a triple star system consisting of a super giant, a main sequence star larger than the Sun, and a dwarf star.
  • In 2012 Planet Hunters discovered PH-1, orbiting a binary system orbiting a binary system. The result? PH-1 HAS FOUR SUNS. It has been nicknamed "Tatooine times two."
    • The main sun is a yellow star, much brighter than our sun. The secondary sun, a red dwarf, is a quarter as bright as our sun. And the other, similar pair of stars (about 0.02 light years away) are many times brighter than Venus, and easily visible in daytime.
  • And it doesn't stop there. HD 139691 consists of six stars, as does Castor, and Nu Scorpii is believed to contain as many as seven in one system.
  • Recently published research based on the discovered planets of multi-stellar systems suggests that it would be entirely feasible for such planets to occupy stable orbits in habitable zones, both around one star of the system or in complex orbits between two or more stars.

Alternative Title(s): Multi Stellar System