Tatooine’s Not Just for Star Wars Fans!
NASA’s scientists found a planet that has two suns! Could Wookies or Jabba the Hut be next?
Nerd Girls, science freaks, Star Wars fans and trivia buffs, listen up! I have the most amazing news for ya! NASA scientists using the Kepler Space telescope found a giant planet orbiting two suns. Yes, that’s right, two suns! Originally named Kepler-16 (AB)-b, the discovery stunned scientists. Alan Boss at the Carnegie Institute in Washington stated during yesterday’s press conference, “Once again, what used to be science fiction has turned into reality.”
Renamed Tatooine, after the twin-sun home of Luke Skywalker, it’s about the size of Saturn. And much denser. “Kepler-16(AB)-b is not habitable as we know it,” said study lead author Laurance Doyle, an astrophysicist at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, Calif.
If you’ve got a high-powered telescope you can find it. It’s only 200 light-years from earth. Tatooine’s in the Cygnus (swan) constellation and resides in the Kepler-16 star system. It will pass by its parent stars (making a transit) on June 28, 2012. It will happend during daylight hours and if you’re living in the northern hemisphere, it will be easy to spot via telescope,you’ll see the lights of the suns dim as the planet passes them by.
What does this mean for us? Well, it’s doubtful that you’ll soon find a Wookie in line next to you at Whole Foods, but it does change the parameters, or should I say our pre-conceived notions of what we may find in our space exploration.
PJ Gach is (a giant nerd) Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.