NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt)
Artist's concept illustrating Kepler-16b, the first planet known to definitively orbit two stars (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)
In news that conjures up visions of Luke Skywalker looking wistfully at the twin sunset of Tatooine accompanied by a stirring John Williams score, NASA's Kepler mission has detected the first planet orbiting two stars. The circumbinary planet, dubbed Kepler-16b, is some 200 light-years from Earth and, though gaseous and not thought to harbor life, its discovery broadens the opportunities for life in our galaxy according to Kepler principal investigator William Boruckias, because most of the Milky Way's stars are part of binary systems.
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