According to an article published last month, (linked here) scientists have managed to locate planet known as Kepler -1647. Planets such as this have often been referred to as “Tatooine Planets” due to the fact that they orbit two stars rather than one. After it’s launch in 2009, it would be two years before the Kepler mission would discover what they call “Eclipsing Binaries”, leading them so several more discoveries.
While insightful, the planets discovered seemed to be close to achieving unstable orbit (layman’s terms), and the planets themselves are often difficult to spot because of this erratic behavior. Not only that, but most of these planets were relatively small, being no larger than Saturn ( but still nine times the radius of earth).
1647 differs from these other CBs for many reasons, the first being its size. The planet is estimated to be the size of Jupiter, and is considered a gas giant with no confirmed moons as of today. The planet also has the most stable orbit so far, if not the longest, with a year being just over three times that of earth’s. More interesting shill is the planet’s location along an orbit which is considered a habitable distance from the sun. If the possibility for water exists on this planet, then the existence of moons will be a very sought-after pursuit.
It’s always interesting to look at discoveries like this and realize that while the planet has existed for as long as Earth has, the idea of a planet with two suns existed in the imaginations of creative people. Many groups talk about how science fiction leads to invention of certain technologies, but it’s always intense to think that imagination can also lead us to search for and discover things light years beyond ourselves. If this interests you, please read the article linked earlier, and remember to support all things science.