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Earth-sized ‘Tatooine’ planets could be habitable

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According to a new study carried out by Space Agency NASA, an Earth-sized exoplanet with two suns in its sky like Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine could support life, if located at the right distance from its stars. All the credits goes to NASA’s observatories like Kepler space telescope.

The new findings published in journal Nature Communications.

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, the study said.

Talking about the study Max Popp, research scholar at Princeton University in New Jersey, and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany said

“This means that double-star systems of the type studied here are excellent candidates to host habitable planets, despite the large variations in the amount of starlight hypothetical planets in such a system would receive,” said.

The researchers 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 A and B stars.

They examined how this planet’s climate would behave as it orbited the host stars with periods between 341 and 380 days.

“Our research is motivated by the fact that searching for potentially habitable planets requires a lot of effort, so it is good to know in advance where to look,” said Siegfried Eggl, a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) postdoctoral scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Source: Nature.com

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