NASA Discovers ‘Tatooine’ Planet Orbiting Two Suns: VIDEO


For the first-time, NASA has discovered a planet orbiting two suns, 200 light years from Earth.

The NYT:

The official name of the new planet is Kepler 16b, but astronomers are already referring to it informally as Tatooine, after the home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker in the George Lucas “Star Wars” movies, which also had two suns. “Reality has finally caught up with science fiction,” said Alan P. Boss of the Carnegie Institution, a member of the research team.

The planet is not a desert planet like Tatooine, however. It's a gas giant about the size of Saturn, very cold, with wide variances in temperature because its suns move back and forth constantly.

Said Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who led the discovery team: “This is a direct detection; it removes all doubt."

Watch Doyle explain the discovery and see a video of the system, AFTER THE JUMP...


Posted September 16, 2011 at 9:30am ETC by Andy Towle
in News, Space, Star Wars