Science

'Star Wars' Planets In Real Life Revealed By NASA

By Anne Dominguez , Dec 23, 2016 08:20 AM EST
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Desert worlds like Mars are pretty much known but it looks like the ice planets and ocean worlds from "Star Wars" universe is not a complete fiction too.

Studying more than 3,400 confirmed alien worlds, NASA researchers used computer modeling to portray the basic features of these planets and guess what? Some of them closely resemble planets in the popular sci-fi franchise -- some even more strange than "Star Wars" planets.

Planet With Two Suns

A planet in our galaxy officially called the Kepler-16b is similar to Luke Skywalker's home planet in "Star Wars," Tatooine. Kepler-16b orbits two suns so a person would have two shadows in this real-life exoplanet. It was discovered by the Kepler space telescope in 2011. It is 200 light-years away from the constellation, Cygnus, and is almost the same size as Saturn. Due to its striking resemblance, it was also nicknamed as Tatooine.

Ocean World

Currently, there are no discovered exoplanets which are closely similar to Kamino in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" or Scarif from "Rogue One." However, NASA might be able to see one in the near future. Director for Virtual Planetary Laboratory, Victoria Meadows, said there are "ocean glints" that are detected from far distances.

Ice Planet

There is also a real-life ice planet in our galaxy. Its official name is OGLE 2005-BLG-390L, from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) which discovered it in 2006 but is also nicknamed as Hoth courtesy of "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back." There is also Jupiter's icy moon, Europa. NASA is planning a "Europa mission" to find possible traces of life on Jupiter's moon.

Forest World

Forest worlds like the green planet, Takodana on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," closely resemble earth but astrobiologists think other forest worlds could even be black, red or even rainbow-colored. Just recently, astronomers discovered a purple planet, Proxima Centauri b, which orbits a red star.

"In the 'Star Wars' universe, Lucas and company envision scores of worlds bustling with intelligent beings. In our galaxy, we know of only one such world so far - Earth. But NASA exoplanet scientists think we have a fighting chance of finding life beyond our solar system," NASA said.

 

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