Friday, September 16, 2011
Exoplanet Found Orbiting Double Stars
There's also another truism amongst science fiction devotees that has been borne out by our history that today's science fiction is tomorrow's science fact.
discovery by the planet hunting Kepler telescope of one that was found in the Kepler-16 star system 200 light years away from planet Earth orbiting two stars smaller than our own
"This discovery confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life," Kepler Principal Investigator William Borucki, of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said. "Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars. This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not prove until now."
The planet does so in 229 Earth days, and we probably aren't going to find Luke Skywalker and Artoo Detoo on it because it is a cold Saturn style and sized gas and rock ball that lies outside the binary stars habitable zone The Kepler project scientists are checking to see if the Kepler-16 planet has habitable moons similar to Pandora in the Avatar movie.
At the rate they are finding exoplanets over the last several years, it's past time to get busy finding a way to get us to them in an expeditious manner. ..