Live News: NASA Finds Star Wars Like Universe – Two New Planets Rotating Around Twin Suns – photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
As space continues to grasp people’s interests, two new planets rotating around twin suns have sparked interest as a new solar system is formed.
According to NBC News, astronomers have for the first time discovered two alien planets whirling around a pair of stars: a complete solar system with twin suns. While it’s not original to find twin suns as the majority come in pairs and are not singular like the sun in our solar system, scientists have discovered planets in these binary systems. These planets, called circumbinary planets, bare a similar resemblance to the world of Tatooine in Star Wars.
In order to look for more circumbinary planets, astronomers gathered and analyzed data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Kepler has detected more than 2,300 potential worlds in space since March 2009. The amazing telescope has, so far, detected four systems with circumbinary planets named Kepler-16, 34, 35 and 38. Recently, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler -47, which is the first seen solar system to have multiple planets circling a pair of stars.
According to lead author Jerome Orosz at San Diego State University, “Kepler-47 shows us that binary stars can have close-in planetary systems, just like the ones we see in single star. Most of the stars in the galaxy are in binary or higher-order multiple systems, so the fact that planetary systems can exist in these types of systems is important. If we were restricted to looking for planets around single stars, we would be missing most of the stars in the galaxy.”
While the world cannot be seen with the naked eye, data from Kepler enabled researchers to deduce the relative sizes of the objects and orbits. One of the suns is relatively the size of the sun in our own solar system and the other is a third its size and 175 times fainter. In comparison with Earth, the planets are both over three times larger.
Scientists and astronomers will continue to analyze the data as study co-author Joshua Carter at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics points out, “We’ve learned that circumbinary planets can be like the planets in our own solar system, but with two suns.” In addition, as the outer planet is around the system’s habitable area, there is potential for the planet to sustain life. Study co-author William Welsh at San Diego State University states, “The thing I find most exciting is the potential for habitability in a circumbinary system. Kepler-47c is not likely to harbor life, but if it had large moons, those would be very interesting worlds.”
Live News: NASA Finds Star Wars Like Universe – Two New Planets Rotating Around Twin Suns.