Space & Astronomy
Could there be a real-life Tatooine ?
By T.K. Randall
March 31, 2015 · 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."
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Tatooine, Star Wars, Binary Star
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