Another Tatooine: Kepler discovers multiple planets orbiting two stars

Diagram showing the comparison of orbits of the two Kepler-47 planets with the inner planets in our own solar system (planetary sizes and orbits to scale). Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC / Caltech)

Not too long ago, the Kepler space telescope discovered the first exoplanet which orbited two binary stars (a circumbinary star system). Such planets had been thought possible, but this was the first confirmed detection of a world reminiscent of the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars films, a planet with a double sunrise and double sunset.

Now another such planetary system has been found by Kepler, but this one consists of not just one, but two known planets. The planets orbit the binary star system Kepler-47, which is about 4,900 light-years from Earth.

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