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NASA discovers "Tatooine" exoplanet -- the largest planet to be found that orbits two suns

 
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06/14/2016 04:30 PM
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NASA discovers "Tatooine" exoplanet -- the largest planet to be found that orbits two suns
Although we will never watch two suns rise and fall from the perspective of our own planet, like Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in the iconic scene from "Star Wars: A New Hope," there's a newly discovered planet where aliens might do so. Scientists have confirmed (PDF) that an exoplanet named Kepler-1647b is the largest discovered that orbits two suns. Exoplanets are those that orbit a star outside the solar system.

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Though the exoplanet is about the same age as Earth -- 4.4 billion years old -- it's 3,700 light-years away and has mass, radius and gas composition comparable to those of Jupiter (or of Bespin, home of Cloud City in "Empire Strikes Back," if we're sticking with the "Star Wars" comparison). The stars it orbits are similar to our own sun, though one is slightly larger than the other.

It takes Kepler-1647b 1,107 days to fully orbit its stars.
The discovery was announced today at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.




[link to www.cnn.com]





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