Astronomers argued that they have evidence that a Tatooine planet similar to the one in Star Wars, being located in a distant star system. Scientists revealed the existence of wrecked asteroids which orbit around two stars. This indicates that rocky planets with twin suns really exist. The new study also suggested that rocky planets are bound to survive in case their stars explode.
- Astronomers spotted a Tatooine-like planet in a distant universe.
- They used the Gemini Observatory South telescope and the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope to spot its star.
- After further analysis, they revealed the rocky planet orbiting two stars.
Even if Earth orbits around a single star, almost half of all Sun-like stars are located in binary systems. These systems consist of a pair of stars which orbit each other. Moreover, there are many three-star systems or even ones that bear seven stars. Planets which orbit around binary stars, like Tatooine planet, are known to be circumbinary planets.
In 2011, scientists revealed the first alien world located around two stars which were named Kepler-16b. This is a gas giant star which orbits Kepler-16 star located at about 200 light-yearS from Earth. All circumbinary planets which were revealed so far are known to be gas planets, similar to Jupiter. Scientists have long debated the existence of Tatooine-like planets.
Jay Farihi, the lead author of the study and also an astrophysicist at University College London, argued that rocky planets which orbit around two suns represents a challenge due to the fact that the gravity of both stars can pull and push with an incredible force, prohibiting pieces of dust and rock to gather and form a full-fledged planet.
The team of researchers has revealed that the remains of these broken asteroids were orbiting around both stars, indicating that the existence of Tatooine-like planets is possible. What is more, Boris Gansicke, the co-author of the study and an astrophysicist at the University of Warwick in England, claimed that these findings indicated that circumbinary planetary systems which encapsulate rocky planets might be able to survive the death of their star.
Astronomers have analyzed a planetary system called SDSS 1557 which is situated at about one thousand light years from our planet. Initially, specialists believed that the system contained a white dwarf star, which actually represents a dim remnant of a star. After using the Gemini Observatory South telescope and the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope, scientists observed the spectrum of that star. They have later discovered a Tatooine-like planet orbiting the star.
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