Seeing the Shadow of Rings around a “Super Saturn”
Astronomers believe that they have seen the shadows of a giant ring system around an unseen planet move in front of their parent star. The fluctuations in the light coming from the star was found in data from May 2007, but not analysed until 2012. Unlike transiting planets that cause the star to dim by a few percent over a few hours, this star dimmed by an incredible 95% over the course of two months. The best explanation is that there is a planet, with rings about 200 times larger than the rings around Saturn, that moved in front of its star, causing the flickering that we saw. This unexpected discovery is leading us to look for more giant ring systems in older data, both online in astronomy digital archives and in older photographic plates.