Kepler Mission Discovers Star Wars Like Planet

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


NASA’s Kepler Mission has achieved a remarkable breakthrough this time by discovering a ‘Star Wars-like’ planet, the 10th exoplanet so far. Dubbed as Kepler-453b, its orbiting zone is between two stars just like ‘Tatooine’, the planet seen in Star Wars movie.

Astronomer Stephen Kane from San Francisco State University who was also part of the discovery team said that the fortuitous nature of Kepler-453b's discovery indicates there could be more like it than previously believed. The discovery has been made at the right time for it would not have been possible to detect the planet until 2066. It also means that the planet was not visible prior to this.

Astronomers generally track planets outside solar system by observing the decrease in starlight when a planet passes or transits between its host star and Earth. This method is known as ‘transit method’. Kepler-453b blocked 0.5% light of its host stars which helped scientists to detect it. The radius of the planet is 6.2 times that of Earth and its size indicates that it is a gaseous planet. 

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