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I remember watching Star Wars for the first time and thinking how beautiful it would be to live on a planet just like Luke Skywalker did with his Aunt and Uncle, cruising the dunes and watching both suns set. Now it looks like that will be a possibility for my grandkids’ grandkids!

Discovery News writes:

If you could stand on the surface of Kepler-16b, you’d have two shadows. At sunset, you would see an orange star about the size of the sun and next to it a much fainter red star. As the stars slipped toward the horizon, they would change places in the sky, like partners in a square dance. You would not need to be Luke Skywalker visiting his home planet of Tatooine in the movie “Star Wars” to watch the twin sunset. The only science fiction in this story is how to make the 200 light-year journey to Kepler-16, a binary star system jointly sharing the Saturn-sized planet, Kepler-16b. WIDE ANGLE: Age of the Exoplanet The finding, reported by scientists on NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting space telescope team, adds a new page into Mother Nature’s recipe book for extrasolar planets. “It’s the first one that circles two stars, so it’s a fundamentally different kind of planet,” lead researcher Laurance Doyle, with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., told Discovery News.


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