Our galaxy may host millions of Tatooines

first_imgWhile we may not see the discovery of Tusken Raiders in our lifetimes, astronomers have revealed that planets like Tatooine may not be uncommon. That doesn’t, unfortunately, mean that there are desert-like planets filled with gangster slugs and hoody-clad scavengers. What it does signify is that planets with two suns may be more prevalent than it was previously thought.Scientists have discovered two more planets that have their own sets of stars. Both celestial bodies, Kepler-34b and Kepler-35b, are gas giants, so there won’t be any lightsaber duels taking place on them. In fact, all of the double-sun worlds that scientists have discovered (three total) have been gaseous.Astronomers do, however, believe that planets with two suns can be habitable. They estimate that such a planet would need to be around 88 million miles from the stars, in order to maintain the proper conditions for liquid water. It’s also feasible that a moon, orbiting one of the gas giants, would be fit for life as we know it (sort of an Endor/Tatooine hybrid with cross-bred Jawa-Ewoks, perhaps?).One of the most interesting tidbits taken from the astronomers’ study relates to how many other dual-star planets there may be. Using a statistical analysis of sampling area vs. discovered dual-sun planets, the scientists estimate that our own galaxy may house millions of cirumbinary planets. That is actually a conservative estimate too.As amusing as it is to see science following science fiction, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this phenomenon. Inventions ranging from calculators to space stations have popped up first in classic science fiction, only to be made years later. The potential prevalence of dual-sun planets makes you wonder what will be discovered or invented next? I, for one, hope that we can replace our clunky automobiles with some badass landspeeders.via National Geographic [1] [2]last_img read more