A team from the University of Japan have found a unique occurrence in data from Kepler – the first multiple planet eclipse around a star called KOI-94.
KOI-94 has a number of exoplanet candidates. According to the team, one of these candidates was transiting (passing in front of the star) when another planet candidate (on a tighter orbit) passed between the star and the initial planet.
Despite reports that this occurence doesnt have a name, we do actually have a name for it: Syzygy, where three bodies enter a straight-line configuration.
As the planetary candidates have yet to be confirmed, this theory is the current best guess as to what happened – unless the transiting planet passed over a sunspot.
This article summarised from the abstract at Arxiv.org.
The paper will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters: “Planet-Planet Eclipse and the Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect of a Multiple Transiting System: Joint Analysis of the Subaru Spectroscopy and the Kepler Photometry” by Teruyuki Hirano, Norio Narita, Bun’ei Sato, Yasuhiro H. Takahashi, Kento Masuda, Yoichi Takeda, Wako Aoki, Motohide Tamura & Yasushi Suto.