Release Images

Release No.: 2011-25
For Release: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 10:00am

From Star Wars to Science Fact: Tatooine-Like Planet Discovered

Kepler-16b, shown in this artist's conception, enjoys double sunsets as it circles a pair of stars. The orange (type K) and red (type M) stars orbit each other every 41 days, while Kepler-16b orbits them both every 229 days at a distance of 65 million miles. Kepler-16b is similar to Saturn in size and mass, with a surface temperature of about -100 to -150 degrees Fahrenheit.

David A. Aguilar (CfA)

This animation shows the gas giant planet Kepler-16b orbiting a pair of stars located about 200 light-years from Earth. Kepler-16b is the first confirmed, unambiguous example of a circumbinary planet.
NASA

NASA