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Science Fiction Becomes Real

Kepler-16b: the only world known to be orbiting a binary star system. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

With the recent release of the Blu-Ray version of Star Wars (you can buy me a copy here if you’d like!), it was interesting to see this news posted on the Discovery Channel web site Friday. Here is the gist of it:

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.

You can read the rest here, but this is a pretty fun coincidence of science and science fiction.

Luke Skywalker Views the Double Sunset in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

One comment on “Science Fiction Becomes Real

  1. […] planets (see my post about part of this here): A Cosmic Thought: Not long ago, it was assumed that planets existed beyond the solar system, but […]

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