New Planet Similar to Fictional Tatooine Discovered

Star Wars fans are rejoicing: scientists have found a distant plant that they say is like a real-life Tatooine. This is the first non-fictional planet found to orbit two stars.

Watch this video about the new planet:

Discovered with NASA’s Kepler telescope, the planet, unlike the fictional Tatooine that has a desert-like environment, scientists wager is more like Saturn — dense and gaseous. Wall Street Journal has more:

“The reality goes beyond the imagination of the most creative theorist in astronomy or science fiction writer,” said astrophysicist Fred Rasio at Northwestern University, who wasn’t involved in the work. “Just about anything you could think of as a planetary system is actually out there.”

Check out this info graphic from Space.com to visualize the planet’s two suns: Learn about the alien planet Kepler-16b that resembles Luke Skywalker's home world Tatooine in this SPACE.com infographic.

This planet joins the list of more than 50 planets, which includes 16 “super earths,” announced earlier this week by astronomers at the High Accuracy Radial-velocity Planet Searcher in Chile. British astronomers with the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) announced an additional 23 planets. Bringing the grand total of alien planets to 74 for the week.