Kepler-16b: Planet with two suns discovered by NASA Kepler telescope

By on Sep 16, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, United States, World Comments

Updated: August 29, 2012 11:45 a.m.

Read Kepler-47 system: Two planets with two suns discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission

A new planet with two suns called Kepler-16b was recently discovered by NASA’s Kepler telescope, with the planet noted to be cold and gaseous but not being thought to harbor life.

Kepler-16b, planet with two suns (Artist’s sketch)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

As noted by NASA on its official website on Thursday, September 15, 2011, the existence of Kepler-16b planet was hinted by previous research but the confirmation details were raw.

“Most of what we know about the sizes of stars comes from such eclipsing binary systems, and most of what we know about the size of planets comes from transits,” SETI Institute research team leader Laurance Doyle was quoted on the report.

Kepler-16 combines the best of both worlds, with stellar eclipses and planetary transits in one system.” Doyle added, who is also the lead author of the report which findings were published at journal Science on Friday.

Kepler-16b was noted to have about the size of Saturn and thought to be made up of about half gas and half rock, and is orbiting around both suns every 229 days almost similar to Venus‘ orbit.

Its two suns to be smaller than our sun, with one is 69 percent the mass of the sun while the other sun is only 20 percent, with the newly-discovered planet to be around 200 light-years from Earth.

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