Science

Planets In ‘Star Wars’ Could Be A Reality In The Universe

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 17, 2016 12:16 AM EST

"Star Wars" is once again very prominent with the new anthology film, "Rogue One." Over the years "Star Wars" has shown a number of planets. Many speculate that planets in "Star Wars" could be a reality in the universe.

One of the first planets that has ever been mentioned in "Star Wars" is Tatooine. The planet has been the home of the Original Trilogy's main character, Luke Skywalker. Tatooine is an arid, desert planet that can support life. Many astronomers think that planets like Tatooine might be possible.

Tatooine is already a planet in the actual universe. This is the nickname astronomers has given to Kepler-16b. The planet is the size of Saturn and is about 200 light years away. The planet is near to two stars, so that sunsets would be like in the movies' Tatooine. It is not certain though if Kepler-16b is a desert planet.

Desert planets are possible, as Shawn Domagal-Goldman, an astrobiologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has said. The "Star Wars" Universe has shown two desert planets. One is Tatooine from the "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "The Phantom Menace." The other is Jakku from "The Force Awakens."

Domagal-Goldman has also said that desert planets could be habitable, much like Tatooine nad Jakku are inhabited, according to NASA. While there are desert planets, there are cold, icy worlds as well in "Star Wars." In "The Empire Strikes Back," people are introduced to the cold planet of Hoth.

Just like Tatooine, scientists have named another planet after one in "The Empire Strikes Bck." Hoth is a name for an icy planet a little bit larger than the Earth. The planet has been given that nickname in 2006. Officially it is named OGLE 2005-BLG-390L, as Phys Org reports. Unlike Hoth in the movie, the planet cannot support life.

"Star Wars" has also shown planets that has much water, such as Kamino in "Attack of the Clones." It has also a forested place such as Endor in "Return of the Jedi." So far such planets have not been seen yet, though astronomers point to the frozen oceans of Europa and Titan. Forested planets have yet to become a reality.

Finding life on other planets has become one of the goals of Astronomy. NASA has ongoing programs to find life on Mars and other planets. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and James Webb Telescope would be used to further try to find life on other planets.

Doug Hudgins, program scientist for exoplanet exploration at NASA said that "Star Wars" has been popular since it has shown that there is much life in other systems. He also noted that man is very much exploratory, and that is the appeal that makes "Star Wars" popular. As Astronomy continues to look into the universe, planets in "Star Wars" could be a reality in the universe. Scientists are also looking into planet formation, as a planet-eating star might likely have answers to it.

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