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Real-life Tatooine could host life

Posted on Monday, 17 June, 2013 | Comment icon 14 comments

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Distant solar systems with more than one star could be good places to look for habitable worlds.

Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine may not be quite so far-fetched thanks to new research exploring the possibility of habitable planets in binary star systems. When a system has two stars, the damaging solar winds that can blast away a planet's protective atmosphere may be better held in check because of the way the stars interact.

"The stars calm each other down," said researcher Joni Clark. "It's like a really good marriage. They vent to each other, and they're not focused on anything else. They slow each other down and that causes increased magnetic protection of the planets."

"Luke Skywalker would be proud. Planets like Skywalker's fictional home of Tatooine in the "Star Wars" movie series might have more potential for habitability than planets in other systems, research suggests."

  View: Full article |  Source: Yahoo! News

  Discuss: View comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Frank Merton on 17 June, 2013, 15:24
It's hard to be more possible than possible, and that is about what it is. There are probably somewhere between a million and a billion planets and moons that in theory could harbor life, which is what we could say about Venus, the Moon, Mars, Europa, Titan, and maybe a few others in our system, in addition of course to the earth. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the ability to have life on them is but one uncertainty we have to consider. Other uncertainties are the chances of life evolving, the chances of life surviving several billion years, the chances of it evolving into complex ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by sam_comm on 17 June, 2013, 16:38
Interesting discoveries because with the number of binar systems in our galaxy the odds of finding life are greater. Now we have a confirmation that various conditions and not only those of the Earth are suited for life.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker on 17 June, 2013, 20:10
And to think that just a couple years ago, the experts were saying not to even bother looking for planets in binary system, because they probably would not form there.
Comment icon #8 Posted by krypter3 on 17 June, 2013, 22:30
Life could be rare, but even if only one planet out of a trillion have life, there's still millions to billions of planets that have life. Thinking we are the only life in the universe is like thinking we are the centre of the universe. It's that human need to feel unique, I have no doubt some people believe we are alone and that gives them great pleasure. That we are the only sentient species. I honestly think it would just be an awful waste of space and monumentally boring if we are the only life out here.
Comment icon #9 Posted by spud the mackem on 17 June, 2013, 23:09
We are one of a million or more species on this planet,some of which have been here a lot longer than us,and a lot can survive in extreme heat or cold that would kill us,so why do we think we may be alone in the universe,there could also be other life forms not based on carbon,we cannot be alone,but cannot at the moment prove it,but one day ?????
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 18 June, 2013, 0:26
I think dolphins were just recognized as a sentient species in India.... So, we're not alone anyway...
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 June, 2013, 11:11
The universe does not care about what humans think is boring or a waste. It is what it is. Neil deGrasse Tyson Whether we are alone or part of a universe teaming with life is not a result of human desire or sentiment, hope or fears, it is a result of the laws of nature. Arthur C. Clarke To quote Sir Arthur again: Arthur C. Clarke
Comment icon #12 Posted by Frank Merton on 19 June, 2013, 11:39
While it seems impossible that we are the only life out there, there are reasons to think we may be the only intelligent, sentient, technological life we are likely to ever encounter. Indeed, I remember seeing estimates that there might be only one occurrence of us in the entire observable space. I'm not so sure that is a boring prospect. Think of all the worlds we will have no moral qualms colonizing. On the other hand, if life is common, these worlds may well be off limits for both biological (mutual poisoning) and ethical (cutting off potential evolution) reasons.
Comment icon #13 Posted by DieChecker on 19 June, 2013, 22:06
Even if Earth is the only life right now. It will spread. Even if life has to wait till a gigantic asteroid hits the Earth and fragments with microorganisms go flinging out and it takes a million or a billion years for one to fall on another world, life will spread. Whenever we send a man made device out into space, it is a chance for life to spread. If planets are as common as is being infered these days, and if we can assume that a star would attract intersteller debris, then we can assume that eventually most big bits of matter will fall onto a planet and eventually some of those microorgan... [More]

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