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On Kepler-16b, shadows come in pairs

Astronomers discover planet orbiting a pair of stars

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6:29pm, September 15, 2011

Once confined to science fiction, a planet circling two stars has left the cinema and landed in reality: Scientists have spied a Saturn-sized world, called Kepler-16b, orbiting a binary star system.

The sunset on Kepler-16b would look something like the iconic double sunset depicted in Star Wars, only better, says astrophysicist Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “Nature is always more amazing,” says Doyle, coauthor of a Sept. 16 Science paper that describes Kepler-16b. “There, you’d get a different sunset every day!”

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