Scientists search for habitable planets with two Suns

Scientists have repeatedly observed exoplanets similar to Tatooine from Star Wars, that is, those that are located in binary star systems. However, they are still not sure how stable they can be. In a new study, they tried to answer this question.

A planet with two suns. Source:

Tatooine-like planets

In the fictional but extremely popular Star Wars universe, there is a planet called Tatooine. Apart from its desert climate, it is also known for having two Suns. Scientists have found similar worlds more than once. However, a new study conducted by researchers from Yale University and published in The Astronomical Journal may tell us something new about them.

In general, planets in binary systems are not something incredible. This follows from the fact that there are actually a lot of binary stars in the universe. Therefore, the worlds belonging to them are not so rare. As for whether these celestial bodies should necessarily be hot deserts due to the fact that there are already two suns, everything depends on their orbit.

In fact, scientists are much less interested in the question of temperature on a planet orbiting two luminaries than in the stability of its orbit. Indeed, in such systems, the disturbances really should be huge.

For this reason, scientists decided to focus on the certain type of binary star systems, in which a planet rotates closer to the main star, and then a companion star. They used data from the Gaia DR3, NASA Exoplanet Archive and TEPCat catalogs to do this.

Results of the study

In total, scientists have studied 40 star systems corresponding to the above scheme. And nine of them turned out to be perfectly aligned. This means that in them, the planet rotates in the same direction as the main star and its orbit lies in the same plane with the orbit of the companion star.

Such a combination can remain stable for many millions of years and, in fact, it may not be so easy to arise. The fact that as many as 9 out of 40 worlds have it, according to scientists, indicates that such systems strive for stability.

But this world really shouldn’t always be hot. Instead, there will be a different effect: at certain times of the year, night will never come. As soon as the main Sun sets, another one will immediately appear, although much smaller. 

At other times of the year, there will really be two suns in the sky. Although the smaller of them is likely to be so dim that it will rather resemble an unusually bright star.

According to

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