r995446 11023981 Star Wars Planetary System Discovered in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker gazed at a sky with two suns. Now scientists have discovered such a system. The discovery dramatically widens the range of environments and conditions in which planets could form.

In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker gazed at a sky with two suns. Now scientists have discovered such a system. The discovery dramatically widens the range of environments and conditions in which planets could form.

Dr Jerome Orosz from the San Diego State University in California and team, made the detection while studying a distant star system called Kepler-47, located 5000 light years away.
 
"We first noticed two stars were eclipsing each other every roughly seven and a half days," says Orosz.
 
"And when we looked more closely, we saw the stars were being orbited by planets."
 
Orosz and colleagues used NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope to detect the system, which includes a star similar to the Sun and a much smaller companion star, about a third of the Sun's mass.
 
"The two planets are similar in size to Uranus or Neptune in our solar system," says Orosz. "They are most likely gas giants."
 
04 19 11 Tatooine full 600 Star Wars Planetary System Discovered in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
 
In findings published in the journal Science, Orosz and colleagues say the inner planet is about three times the radius of Earth and takes almost 50 days to complete an orbit of both stars.
 
The outer planet is more than four and a half times the Earth's radius, and takes just over 303 days to complete each orbit.
 
Astronomers believe over half of all stars in the Milky Way galaxy are in binary or multiple stellar systems. However, until recently, there was no evidence of planets in multiple star systems.
 
"Now we know that nature wants to put planets in all kinds of situations," says Orosz.
 
Orosz says the view from one of these planets wouldn't be all that different from the image portrayed in Star Wars.
 
"In the case of Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine, both stars were similar in brightness," says Orosz.
 
"In the case of Kepler-47, the contrast (between the two stars) is fairly large, but it's the same idea."
 
"You look up and you would have two Suns in the sky, so during sunset, one star could set and the other might still be there."