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Real Life Star Wars Planet Discovered

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Real Life Star Wars Planet Discovered

Post by TheHidden01 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:15 pm

Holy Science Fiction reality! NASA planet-hunters say they have sighted the first known world to circle two stars – much like Star Wars own desert planet, Tatooine. The planet in question has been named Kepler-16b and it “orbits a red and an orange star in the constellation Cygnus.”



Here’s a quote from MSNBC’s Cosmic Log:

“Beyond the ‘Star Wars’ angle, Kepler-16b is significant because it shows once again that a wide variety of star systems can foster planets, and perhaps habitable planets at that. ‘This is an example of another planetary system, a completely different type that no one’s ever seen before,’ Doyle said. ‘That’s why people are making a big deal out of this.’

William Borucki, an astronomer at NASA’s Ames Research Center who serves as the Kepler mission’s principal investigator, said the research ‘confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life.’

‘Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars,’ Borucki said in a NASA news release. ‘This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not prove until now.’

Doyle said Kepler-16b almost certainly will not be the last double-sunset planet discovered by the $600 million Kepler mission. When the numbers all added up, ‘I didn’t feel like it’s the end of 20 years of searching … it felt like the beginning of something’ he said. ‘I predict that in the next couple of months, we’re going to have some more.’ ”

TH

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