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Could Planets Like Those Imagined in Star Wars Be Real??

Could Planets Like Those Imagined in Star Wars Be Real??

Look at what we’ve found so far. 

Is your favorite Star Wars planet a desert world or an ice planet or a jungle moon?

It’s possible that your favorite planet exists right here in our galaxy. Astronomers have found over 3,400 planets around other stars, called “exoplanets.”

Some of these alien worlds could be very similar to arid Tatooine, watery Scarif and even frozen Hoth, according to NASA scientists.

Find out if your planet exists in a galaxy far, far away or all around you.

Planets With Two Suns


Were you going to the Tosche station to pick up some power converters? Hold on a minute and learn about Kepler-16b, 200 light-years from Earth. It’s the first honest-to-goodness planet ever found where you could watch two suns set like Luke. George Lucas himself even blessed its nickname ‘Tatooine.’ It’s not a perfect comparison: Kepler-16b is a cold gas giant roughly the size of Saturn. But don’t worry, kid.


The best part is that Tatooine aka Kepler-16b was just the first. It has family. A LOT of family. Half the stars in our galaxy are pairs, rather than single stars like our sun. If every star has at least one planet, that’s billions of worlds with two suns. Billions! Maybe waiting for life to be found on them.

Desert Worlds


If you’re like Finn and want to know why everyone wants to go back to Jakku desert planets, get this: Star Wars may be reflecting the real universe. Desert worlds are not only a very real possibility, but we think they are probably very common. They can be hot, like the fictional Tatooine and Jakku, or cold, like Jedha in “Rogue One” or our real planet Mars.

Perhaps it’s not so weird that both Luke and Rey grew up on planets that look suspiciously like each other. If you’re scouring the universe for a place to settle, you have a good chance of finding a desert planet.

Ice Planets


There is a Hoth in our galaxy! Though not the same Hoth from “The Empire Strikes Back” (no invading Imperials, for one). The icy super-Earth reminded scientists so much of the frozen Rebel base they nicknamed it “Hoth.” The planet’s real name is OGLE 2005-BLG-390L.

Our galaxy’s Hoth is too cold to support life as we know it. But life may evolve under the ice of a different world, or a moon in our solar system.

We’re currently designing a mission to look for life under the crust of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. We’re pretty sure ity won’t look like tauntauns, if it exists.


Forest worlds


Both the forest moon of Endor and
Takodana, the home of Han Solo’s favorite cantina in “Force Awakens,” are green
like our home planet. But astrobiologists think that plant life on other worlds could be red,
black, or even rainbow-colored!

In August 2016, astronomers from
the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri b, a planet only four light-years
away from Earth, which orbits a tiny red star.


The light from a red star, also
known as an M dwarf, is dim and mostly in the infrared spectrum (as opposed to
the visible spectrum we see with our sun). And that could mean plants with
wildly different colors

than what we’re used
to seeing on Earth. Or, animals that see in the near-infrared.

And Beyond


The next few years will
see the launch of a new generation of spacecraft to search for planets around
other stars. TESS
and the James
Webb Telescope will go into space in 2018, and WFIRST in the
mid-2020s. That’s one step closer to finding life.

You don’t need to visit a galaxy
far, far away to find wondrous worlds. Just visit this one … there’s plenty to

Discover more about exoplanets

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