herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Sci-fi reality as Star Wars planet with two suns found

IT'S enough to make Luke Skywalker feel homesick.

Scientists have found a two-sun planet 200 light years away from Earth -- mirroring the 1977 movie Star Wars which featured a planet with two suns called Tatooine.

"After 35 years, science fiction has finally become reality," said Alan Boss, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington and an author of a study on the planet released yesterday by the journal Science.

"We have been waiting for a long time for one of these to be found," he added.

The new planet, called Kepler-16b, is about the size and mass of Saturn, according to the study, and was found using NASA's Kepler space telescope.

Kepler-16b moves in a circular orbit 65 million miles from its suns.

But unlike Tatooine, the hot, desert planet portrayed in Star Wars, Kepler-16b is far too cold to support life, with temperatures about 100C lower than Earth, Boss revealed.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News