Kepler is finding awesome planets like you find loose change under the couch, and doing it at an incredible rate. And it does it with one instrument. Let’s have all the people whining about how NASA doesn’t do anything just sit down right now.
Anyway, the latest Kepler awesomeness is discovering Luke Skywalker’s home planet. Or planets, since it keeps finding them. You may remember that Tattooine has two suns. It turns out that for stars like our sun, a binary system is actually fairly common; the stars orbit each other, and the planets orbit the two stars. It’s called a circumbinary planet.
So far, Kepler’s found three of them.
Eat it, European Space Agency
[ via the droids you’re looking for at Nature ]
[ image courtesy Lucasfilm ]