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Scientists Discover Actual Two-Sun Planet, Nickname it “Tatooine” [Video]

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In a bit of news that will surely have the attention every Star Wars fan, a team using data from NASA’s $600 million Kepler telescope have discovered a planet that has two suns. Although its official title is “Kepler-16b”, scientists at NASA and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute [SETI] have informally named the planet “Tatooine” – a nod to George Lucas and the Star Wars universe. According to SETI’s Laurance Doyle, who led the team of researchers:

“When we first discovered it … I sent around a message, ‘Hey, you know guys, we should ask George Lucas if we can nickname this guy Tatooine. Suddenly and unexpectedly after years of looking for a circumbinary planet – we got a beauty.”

Doyle also reported that a double sunset on the real Tatooine would be much more dramatic that what we see in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” For someone standing on the planet’s surface, one of the suns would appear orange and the other red. If you’re hoping for a trip to the newly discovered planet, it’s probably not going to happen. It is located about 200 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Getting there would take about two centuries if you were going at light speed, or 186,282 miles per second.

Check out the video after the break to learn more.

(via CNN)


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