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10 Remarkable Exoplanets


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Kepler-16b

A planet with two suns may seem straight from science fiction, like Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine in the Star Wars saga. But in 2011, scientists found proof of Kepler-16b, the first definitive example of a circumbinary planet, or one that orbits two stars.

Since the Kepler-16 system is binary (it has two stars), scientists can pick up on regular dips in light emitted from the system every time the two stars eclipsed each other. But when they noticed other dips in brightness not caused by the eclipses, they knew that a third body was circling the stars. Lo and behold, it was Kepler-16b, an exoplanet about the size of Saturn.

But before you get your hopes set on a two-starred sci-fi paradise to colonize, beware. Kepler-16-b is gaseous, cold and orbits outside its system's habitable zone. It might take quite a bit of technology and equipment to make the exoplanet appealing to us warm-blooded humans.