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Discovering Circumbinary Star Systems

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Discovering Circumbinary Star Systems

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May the Fourth Be With You!

When the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977, it featured the now-iconic two-sun, “circumbinary” planet Tatooine. At that time astronomers didn’t really know if such solar systems existed. Indeed, the first extra-solar planet wasn’t detected until the early 1990s. And, the first actual circumbinary planet was detected in 2005, and it was a Jupiter-size planet orbiting a system composed of a sun-like star and a brown dwarf. 

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, F. Pacaud, D. Coe

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