Double Sunsets Are Better Than Double Rainbows: Tatooine Really Does Exist

Double Sunsets Are Better Than Double Rainbows: Tatooine Really Does Exist

Sep 16, 2011

We know you might be loath to say that George Lucas was right about anything, but in the case of the newly discovered planet Kepler-16b he was. NASA's new find orbits two stars – just like Luke Skywalker's home, Tatooine, in Star Wars. The Saturn-sized planet is about 200 light years away from us, circling both stars every 229 days (they also actually orbit each other every 41 days), and is quite chilly with a temperature of about minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Kepler observatory discovered the planet due to its brightness dips while it was busy searching over 100,000 stars for planetary candidates. Science explains, "Until now, astronomers weren't sure whether or not planets would be able to form around binary stars. In particular, they thought that when the stars were in an eccentric orbit, as is the case here, they would strongly perturb dust particles that might prevent their coalescence into larger bodies. Kepler was lucky to find the Tatooine planet." Check out the groovy video diagram below to see Kepler-16b in action.



[hat tip to Discover Mag]

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Tags: Star Wars
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In the movie The LEGO Batman Movie, what is the name of the character played by Michael Cera

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Robin/Dick Grayson