Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Space Science

First Exoplanet Discovered Orbiting Two Stars 88

astroengine writes "For the first time, astronomers have discovered an exoplanet orbiting binary stars. Kepler-16b, a Saturn-sized world approximately 200 light-years away, orbits Kepler-16, two stars locked in a mutual dance. Although other exoplanets are known to exist in binary systems, they have only been known to be orbiting one star of the binary pair; Kepler-16b orbits both. No doubt Kepler-16b will excite memories of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's homeworld, but the double sunset is where the similarities end. Kepler-16b would be anything but a desert world; it is the approximate size of Saturn, it is extremely cold, and its average density is that of water."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First Exoplanet Discovered Orbiting Two Stars

Comments Filter:
  • Wrong sci-fi planet? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by muecksteiner ( 102093 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:59PM (#37412686)

    Tatooine? Would that thing not be much more like Solaris [] (the planet from the novel, not the OS), especially since it's density is that of water?

  • Re:saw this episode (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sunspot42 ( 455706 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @07:30PM (#37415416)

    Not sure if that's true or not, but if the planet had a dense, large, rocky core, it could hold on to a thick, massive atmosphere that's far less dense than liquid water, at least for much of its overall volume.

    Saturn is a good example in our own solar system - it has an overall density less than the density of water. If you had a big enough bathtub, you could float Saturn in it.

    It would leave a ring, though...

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle