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NASA Discovers New 'Tatooine' Planet With Two Suns

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. micropage7

    micropage7

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    NASA said the planet it has discovered is cold, gaseous, and not thought to contain life. It's about the size of Saturn and scientists think it's made up of half rock and half gas. Of the two stars, meanwhile, one is 69 percent the mass of our sun while the other is 20 percent.

    But discovery of this system, dubbed Kepler-16, is significant because we've never before had actual proof of circumbinary planets.

    "This discovery confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life," Kepler principal investigator William Borucki said in a statement. "Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars. This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not prove until now."
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