Kepler-16b orbits two suns, just like Tatooine

Kepler-16b orbits two suns, just like Tatooine

Remember one of the opening scenes from “A New Hope” where Luke kicks the dirt and looks out at Tatooine’s double suns setting in the distance? Well scientists have found a planet that fit the bill.

The NASA Kepler spacecraft has identified a planet — very creatively named Planet Kepler-16b — that orbits two suns.

It was the first time that we Earthlings have observed what is known as a circumbinary planet.

But Kepler-16b is also an oddball because it falls within a radius of the double-star system that scientists thought was too close for a planet to form.

The planet orbits its stars every 229 days.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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