Newfound ’Tatooine’ Alien Planet Bodes Well for E.T. Search
2012 09 05

By Charles Q. Choi | Space.com

The discovery of the first alien planet with two suns — like the "Star Wars" world Tatooine — residing in its parent star’s habitable zone is good news for the search for life beyond Earth, scientists say.

The planet, known as Kepler-47c, is a gas giant and therefore probably not suitable for life as we know it. But its existence hints that smaller, rockier worlds may inhabit other two-star systems’ habitable zones —that just-right range of distances where liquid water can exist.

And that’s important, because there are a lot of binary systems out there, scientists say.

"Roughly half of the stars in the galaxy are in binary systems," study lead author Jerome Orosz, of San Diego State University, told SPACE.com. "I thought it would only be a matter of time before we found a system like Kepler-47 where a planet is in the habitable zone."


This illustration shows the orbits of the two alien planets circling two stars of Kepler-47, and the orbits of our own solar system planets for comparison.


The Kepler-47 system, whose discovery was announced Tuesday (Aug. 28), dwells about 5,000 light-years away, in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan). It is a close binary system, with two stars orbiting near each other at its center. Around these stars whirl two planets known as Kepler-47b and Kepler-47c.

They make Kepler-47 the first system seen with multiple worlds circling a pair of stars.

"If single stars and close binary stars can host planetary systems with an equal probability — that is not at all clear at the moment — then it would follow that life could be just as common on circumbinary planets as on planets with single stars," Orosz said.

[...]


Read the full article at: space.com








Related Articles
Billionaires should be allowed to BUY up planets and rip up an out-of-date space treaty, claims expert
Could Ancient Aliens Live on Methuselah Planets?
2 Earth-size planets spotted around distant star, boosting chances of finding life


Latest News from our Front Page

Sri Lanka to deport UK tourist with Buddha tattoo
2014 04 24
Sri Lankan authorities will deport a British tourist for having an image of Buddha tattooed on her arm, an official said Wednesday. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said Naomi Coleman was detained at Colombo’s airport after she arrived from India on Monday when authorities spotted the tattoo of Buddha seated on a lotus flower. She was sent before a magistrate who ...
Chess-playing computers may cause the robot apocalypse
2014 04 23
Sore-loser chess programs might be the end of us all... In the movie The Terminator, we heard the human side of the story of Judgment Day, with the machines getting smart and seeing us as a threat. It wasn’t until the sequel that we heard the tale from the machine’s point of view, as it chose to start World War III ...
Archeologists’ findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
2014 04 23
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more so than believed until now. Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year ...
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
2014 04 23
A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. "I can’t speak for other MPs, but I’ve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer," ...
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound
2014 04 23
If it quacks like a duck... it’s not always a duck. Scientists have reportedly gotten to the bottom of the mysterious ’Bio-Duck’ sound in the Antarctic. Here’s a recording of the strange sound (it’s kind of a stretch to say it sounds like a duck, but who are we to second guess the biologists?). --- Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved By Tanya Lewis ...
More News »