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Exoplanet found orbiting binary star system
Posted: Fri, Sep 16, 2011, 8:08 AM ET (1208 GMT)
Kepler-16b illustration (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt) Astronomers announced Thursday the discovery a planet orbiting a pair of stars, the first such extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, detected to date. Astronomers found the planet, designated Kepler-16b, as it transited the binary stars in observations by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. The two stars, each smaller than the Sun, are 200 light-years awa; the Saturn-sized Kepler-16b orbits them in a 229-day orbit. The discovery drew comparisons to Tatooine, the planet from Star Wars that orbited two suns.
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