Planet-hunters say they’ve detected the first world that’s absolutely known to circle two stars, like Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in the fictional “Star Wars” saga.
“Once again, what used to be science fiction has turned into reality,” said Carnegie Institution astronomer Alan Boss, a member of the team for NASA’s Kepler mission and a co-author of a paper on the discovery in the journal Science.
To mark the occasion, NASA invited John Knoll of Industrial Light and Magic, the special-effects company behind the “Star Wars” movies, to sit in on today’s announcement. “When I was a kid, I didn’t think it was going to be possible to make discoveries like this,” Knoll told journalists.
Tatooine serves as the setting for the first movie in the series, released in 1977 and now subtitled “A New Hope.” The saga’s main character, Luke Skywalker, could watch a double-sunset as he toiled in the desert on his uncle’s moisture farm, aided by his trusty robots C-3PO and R2-D2. Continue reading