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Luke Skywalker's Star Wars planet Tatooine discovered by NASA Kepler space telescope

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star-wars-planetNasa scientists have discovered a secret planet which sees two sunsets every night – just like Tatooine, the home of Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker.

As many as 2,700 new worlds have been spotted by the high-tech Kepler space telescope since it was launched four years ago.

More than 90 per cent of these should be confirmed as true planets orbiting beyond the Sun, according to astronomers.

Among them is the Tatooine planet which has two stars setting over the horizon.

In the Star Wars films, Tatooine is an arid desert planet heated by orbiting Tatoo I and Tatoo II, while being the home of both Anakin and Luke Skywalker, before being captured and ruled over by Jabba the Hutt.

Its real-life equivalent – which also has two suns – has been dubbed Kepler-16b and reproduced in artist’s-impression images.

Prof Bill Borucki, lead investigator for the Kepler project, admitted many of the newly-discovered lands are much ‘weirder’ than scientists had expected.

One, known as Kepler-20e, was the first planet smaller than Earth which has been found to orbit a star other than the sun.

A year on Kepler-20e lasts just six days, because it sits much closer to its host star than the Earth is to the Sun.

But at 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, the surface of the planet is deemed much to hot to support life.


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