JPL: Earth-Sized 'Tatooine' Planets Could Be Habitable

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JPL: Earth-Sized 'Tatooine' Planets Could Be Habitable

Postby bystander » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:29 pm

Earth-Sized 'Tatooine' Planets Could Be Habitable
NASA | JPL-Caltech | 2017 Apr 12

With two suns in its sky, Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine in "Star Wars" looks like a parched, sandy desert world. In real life, thanks to observatories such as NASA's Kepler space telescope, we know that two-star systems can indeed support planets, although planets discovered so far around double-star systems are large and gaseous. Scientists wondered: If an Earth-size planet were orbiting two suns, could it support life?

It turns out, such a planet could be quite hospitable if located at the right distance from its two stars, and wouldn't necessarily even have deserts. In a particular range of distances from two sun-like host stars, a planet covered in water would remain habitable and retain its water for a long time ...

Max Popp and Siegfried Eggl ... created a model for a planet in the Kepler 35 system. In reality, the stellar pair Kepler 35A and B host a planet called Kepler 35b, a giant planet about eight times the size of Earth, with an orbit of 131.5 Earth days. For their study, researchers neglected the gravitational influence of this planet and added a hypothetical water-covered, Earth-size planet around the Kepler 35 AB stars. They examined how this planet's climate would behave as it orbited the host stars with periods between 341 and 380 days. ...

Climate Variations on Earth-like Circumbinary Planets - Max Popp and Siegfried Eggl
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