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Space & Astronomy

Could there be a real-life Tatooine ?

By T.K. Randall
March 31, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

Could we one day visit a planet with a double sunset ? Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers believe that desert planets similar to Tatooine in Star Wars might actually be common.
One of the most memorable scenes in the original Star Wars sees a young Luke Skywalker silhouetted against the twin sunsets of his home planet to the sound of John Williams' timeless score.

But could a planet like this exist in real life ? Until recently it was assumed that rocky terrestrial worlds were unable to exist around binary star systems, but now new research has indicated that they are not only possible but potentially quite common as well.

The main problem had been the assumption that the accumulation of materials around planetesimals in a binary star system would have been impossible due to the disruptive gravity fields of both stars.
As it turns out however it is possible for rocky planets to form given a circular enough orbit.

"It is just as easy to make an Earthlike planet around a binary star as it is around a single star like our sun," said Ben Bromley, an astronomer at the University of Utah.

"So we think that Tatooines may be common in the universe."

Source: UPI.com | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by quasar_kid 9 years ago
Well, sure, it'd be conceited of us to think we're the only planet that has a form of civilisation.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
Well, sure, it'd be conceited of us to think we're the only planet that has a form of civilisation. The article has absolutely nothing to do with civilisations. It's about whether rocky planets can form around binary stars.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ianp 9 years ago
Yes but Binary Stars systems are common and rocky planets are where we will find life like our own. So if rocky planets couldn't form in binary stars systems it would significantly reduce the number of potential life supporting star systems
Comment icon #4 Posted by Ad hoc 9 years ago
Good grief. @Waspie: There are times when I understand why you're waspish. -.-
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ad hoc 9 years ago
Yes but Binary Stars systems are common and rocky planets are where we will find life like our own. So if rocky planets couldn't form in binary stars systems it would significantly reduce the number of potential life supporting star systems You don't seem to understand the exchange you just read. this article is about whether planets can form in a specific place. Figuring out where planets can form has nothing to do with being 'conceited' about alien civilizations. The statistical question as to whether we are alone is completely unaffected by the inclusion of binary star systems. The answer i... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Athena1979 9 years ago
Young Skywalker - rest now you must. For someday, save galaxy you will. Think of civilizations - reference to Star Wars - you will.
Comment icon #7 Posted by MissJatti 9 years ago
like Mars in the past
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
like Mars in the past Sorry, you've lost me here. How is a rocky planet existing around a binary star system like Mars in the past?


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