Kepler-16b Discovered; Planet With Two Suns Nicknamed Tatooine From Star Wars (VIDEO)

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Sept. 16 2011 12:52 PM

Kepler-16b Discovered; Planet With Two Suns Nicknamed Tatooine From Star Wars (VIDEO)

Kepler-16b is trending after NASA announced the discovery of the first planet with two suns. Double star systems are common in the Milky Way, but the discovery puts to rest any doubts that a circumbinary planet, or a planet that orbits two stars instead of one, can form and exist in their vicinity.
 
Astronomers have started referring to Kepler-16b as Tatooine after the fictional planet in the Star Wars saga famous for its two suns that is home to both Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
 
Kepler-16b is about the size of Saturn and a mere 200 light-years from Earth. It orbits the binary star system every 229 days, while the two stars themselves orbit each other once every 41 days.

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