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Double dawn: the planet with two suns

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Double dawn: the planet with two suns


It sounds like something from science-fiction but it is actually space fact. Star-gazers at NASA have discovered a planet with two suns. Researchers made the unprecedented find when examining data collected by the agency’s Kepler spacecraft.

Binary stars – or two suns turning around each other – are nothing new. But until now a planet turning around binary stars has evaded astronomers. Kepler-16b, as the planet has been called, is some 200 light-years away from Earth. It orbits its two suns every 229 days at a distance of just over a hundred million kilometres. With the suns being smaller than our own, this would make Kepler 16-b a chilly place: temperatures there are believed to be between -100°F and -150°F (-73°C and -101°C). Much colder then than Tatooine, the sandy desert home planet of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, the only other planet famous for having two suns.

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