An Earth-Sized ‘Tatooine’ Planet

An Earth-Sized ‘Tatooine’ Planet

May 5, 2017

An Earth-Sized 'Tatooine' Planet

Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in “Star Wars,” with two suns in its sky, looks like a parched, sandy desert world.

In real life, thanks to observatories such as NASA’s Kepler space telescope, we know that two-star systems can indeed support planets, although planets discovered so far around double-star systems are large and gaseous. Scientists wondered: If an Earth-size planet were orbiting two suns, could it support life?



This illustration shows a hypothetical planet covered in water around the binary star system of Kepler-35A and B. In reality, the stellar pair Kepler-35A and B host a planet called Kepler-35b, a giant planet about eight times the size of Earth, with an orbit of 131.5 Earth days. For their study, researchers neglected the gravitational influence of this planet and added a hypothetical water-covered, Earth-size planet around the Kepler-35 A and B stars. They examined how this planet’s climate would behave as it orbited the host stars with periods between 341 and 380 days.

Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

source NASA

By | 2017-05-05T12:09:03+00:00 May 5, 2017|Categories: Astronomy|Tags: |

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