We all know the scene A New Hope in which Luke looks at a double sunset on a hill next to his house. What if I tell you that these kinds of sunsets can also exist in real life?
The double sunset, or the 'binary sunset' is perhaps the most beautiful moment in all of Star Wars for me. The beautiful image of a young Luke, looking out from a hill to two suns that are undergoing, dreaming about the life he would like to have.
Meanwhile, John William's orchestra flares up, and we dream with Luke. If you want to enjoy, here he is again:
* Sigh * ... Okay, are you back again?
Tatooine is a so-called 'circumbinary planet', or a planet that revolves around two stars. These two stars revolve around a joint center, which is called 'binary stars'.
Astronomers are looking for these kinds of planets, of which one researcher receives an honorable name. This Matthew Muterspaugh, from the Polish Academy of Sciences, worked with Maciej Konacki on one search to circumbinary planets.
Muterspaugh called the research "The Attempt To Observe Outer Planets In Non-single-stellar Environment", which abbreviated: TATOOINE. In this study too few discoveries were made to draw strong conclusions, according to the authors themselves.
However, according to the researchers, it showed that the search for these kinds of planets is possible. Konacki is still investigating circumbinary planets with a network of telescopes: Projekt Solaris.
In 2007 the Kepler Space Observatory was launched, a satellite that had to search for potentially habitable exoplanets. These are planets that revolve around a star other than our sun.
In March it became known that the fuel of the Kepler is starting to run out, but in the 11 year that it is shooting through space, the 2.342 has found confirmed planets. This included circumbinary planets.
The first of these is the Kepler-16Bthat was discovered in 2011. According to William Borucki, former researcher for Kepler, this discovery was important. The fact that double stars can form planets increases the chance of life in the universe. NASA stated that Kepler-16B shows the diversity in the universe.
It is probable that Tatooine was formed somewhere else than the system where it is now. That appears from research from the University of Bristol. The problem for circumbinary planets is that it is difficult to form when you turn around two stars. Planets form because particles that rotate around a star collide and coagulate.
However, particles that revolve around double stars are faced with considerable disturbances in gravity. As a result, the particles collide much harder, causing them to pulverize. This is shown by simulations made by the University of Bristol. The researchers used Kepler-34b, another circumbinary planet discovered by the Kepler satellite.
The researchers drew the conclusion that planets orbiting binary stars were formed elsewhere in the universe and then migrated to their current location.
According to NASA, half of all stars belong to binary systems (so with two stars) and astronomers think they can discover even more worlds that are more beautiful than Tatooine.
Konacki himself said: "The universe is more interesting than Star Wars. There are things in the universe that are more surprising than what filmmakers can think of ".
Of course, this statement is open to discussion.
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