A team of NASA scientists recently discovered a unique planet in outer space that orbits two different suns. Kepler-16b, named after NASA’s Kepler mission, is located within the western part of the Cynus constellation (more commonly known as the swan).
The planet has garnered instant Star Wars comparisons due to a scene with Luke Skywalker depicting a similar planet. According to astronomers, these “binary stars” are actually estimated to make up half of the stars in our galaxy. However, this is the first planet discovered that passes in front of its parent stars.
Kepler-16b is roughly the size of Saturn, with extremely cold temperatures and severe gravity. Both two suns orbited by the planet are smaller than our own solar system’s sun.
For anyone curious about how long it would take to reach the planet, it’s 200 million light years away from Earth — or the equivalent of 3.5 million years of travel time at the speed of the Voyager space probe.