The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10–Kelper-16B   23 comments

Planet Hunting Spacecraft – Search for habitable planets


-In the Light to Two Suns


double sunset

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one.

The existence of a world with a double sunset has, until now, been “the stuff of science fiction” confined to sci-fi movies such as Star Wars.

Over three decades later a world with double suns is now a scientific fact.



The new planet “Kepler-16b” is located 200 light-years from Earth, and like Tatooine, the home world of Star Wars Luke Skywalker, is a circumbinary planet – a planet which orbits two stars.

StarWars-Planet TatooineLuke SkywalkerTatooines Two Suns

A cold and inhospitable world similar in size to Saturn, KELPER-16B is thought to consist of about 50 percent rock and 50 percent gas. A gas giant like Jupiter in the Earth’s system rather than another terrestrial type world. Much too cold for life. The parent stars are smaller than our sun. One is 69 percent the mass of the sun and the other only 20 percent. KELPER-16B orbits around both stars every 229 days, similar to Venus’ 225-day orbit, but lies outside the system’s habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface, because the stars are cooler than our sun.

                   In the Light of Two Suns_Kelper-16BKelper-16B orbiting two starsWhere the Sun Sets Twice_Kelper-16B

Researchers in Austin, Texas have been busy calculating the likelihood of Earth-like planets existing around twin stars. Worlds with two suns.

The existence of Earth-like worlds in the habitable zones around binary systems is now thought possible by astrophysicists from the University of Texas at Arlington. These regions are the right temperature to support liquid water on its surface, as in oceans and seas, and therefore life, in a form familiar to us.

Extrasolar-Moon: CREDIT: David A. Aguilar


Using the Kepler-16 double sun system as a basis and beginning point it has been established that as with our own the habitable zone of this system is centered mostly on the system’s primary star and extends in a region around it equal to 0.36 to 0.71 the distance of the Earth to the sun. A roughly similar distance as that between Earth and neighboring planet Venus, out to about the distance of red planetary neighbor Mars.

One possibility the researchers have also explored the possiblility that a planet the size of Earth could be orbiting beyond the twin star system which would put it ouside the area considered the habitable zone. An area known as the extended region.

There have not been any "exomoons" found so far but the planned Space Telescope – the James Webb, will have the necessary facilities to study the atmosphere of an alien exomoon, detecting and analysing vital gases for example carbon dioxide and oxygen.

The Kelper Space Telescope has so far discovered:

  • 21 confirmed planets
  • 1235 Planetary Candidates
  • 2165 Eclipsing Binary Stars

        And this is only the beginning!!!!!

23 responses to “The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10–Kelper-16B

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  1. the worlds around and outside us is as fascinating as the worlds inside us.
    Two Hawks

  2. we hear more about planets being discovered but still no habitable ones like ours but one day life might be found elsewhere maybe a goth planet lol its so dark no one can see it xxjen hope your backs improving very painful

    • There are a billion worlds out in space for us to explore…the cosmos is our playground! One day…one day… 😉 I guess a Goth planet would be freezing! It would have to avoid sunlight to stay dark and gothic…but I guess it would be great for a vampy goth…eternal night! 🙂

  3. I like the idea of this Planet Hunting Spacecraft Icywolfy,
    and it has already had many successful finds with those
    twenty one confirmed new planets… I have not heard of
    Kepler 16b before, but I will certainly have a closer look
    at it later this week… It is quite amazing how technology
    has advanced so rapidly since those early days in space
    and how wondrously exciting it all is too 🙂

    Thank you for adding such a
    worthy posting for us all to read 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Kelper-16b is a new discovery which hit the news last week. It’s quite a breakthrough for us, but undoubtedly got most coverage through the astronomy orientated channels 🙂 Wondrously exciting it certainly is! 🙂

  4. I do recall hearing of Kepler Mission, but it was lost among thoughts that get filed in back of mind. I am so glad to see so many planets have been confirmed! Wow!!! Oh my friend, is this quite a marvelous and remarkable moment in time, as we continue our search or what? We come closer all the time, I just know we will find other planets that support the possibilities of life as we know it. A good day indeed 😀

    • And now Wolfie is dragging it kicking and screaming back to the forefront of your mind! lol 😉 It is a wonderfully marvellous and remarkable moment in time Raven! wolfie is very excited about these new discoveries…we are getting closer…with time and patience I am certain we will suceed in our quest to find other habitable planets :O We dream in order to navigate our way through the eternity of the stars to the reality that surely awaits us one day! Enthusiasm is everything! 😉

  5. I had enjoyed this article.

  6. I enjoyed this post IceWolfie, I have to say I havent heard of the Kepler Mission before, But its no suprise that they are making new discoveries all the time .. I have always been interested in outerspace… And I am sure they will soon find planets out there which like a sister planet to Earth, or at least sustain life all be it maybe not in the human form… A little like those beings we see on StarWars perhaps lol… I think I used to know the dialoge on Starwars films off by heart, as my Son was a Star Wars Fan when the films first came out..
    This Link is to some orbs appearing in which Nasa cant explain…. So I think we are All being closely watched by our Brothers in outerspace Lol Hope this doesnt sent me to your Junk mail box…
    Wishing you a Great Week my friend 🙂

    • Thanks for the link…no it won’t get you sent to my junk mail box lol…re jen’s comment below…maybe what they saw was the soup bowl floating around!
      The Kelper Mission doesn’t generally make the news, but it’s out there, it’s telescope’s working quietly away looking for goth planet and other worlds that might harbour life…lol…or better still be habitable for us 🙂 Just a matter of time now…strap in tight! Could be a rocky ride!!

  7. hi icey just called to bring you some soup and a back rub lol andro will apply that been out with heidi today shes on another planet she loves her wheels wonder if theres a planet going to be discovered before i trip into the afterlife hmm xxjen

  8. habitable i mean have a good week icey enjoy your soup xxjen

    • Wow jen!!! That’s a scary thought 😉 lol…andro applying my back rub!! I trust he won’t be using the soup you’ve so kindly brought?!! More likely it’ll be some horrible indescribably awful concoction cooked up in the niff lol in the dark and dread depths of the gothic realm dungeons from unspeakable and utterly vile ingredients 😉 Hopefully it will be ICY who discovers another habitable planet before the afterlife she may find herself descending most unwillingly into should that be the fearsome case!! Or maybe I’ll just join the sweet Heidi on her happy little planet, and eat soup! lol 😉

  9. Wolfie…
    Den här bloggen gillar jag den är WOW…
    Önskar ´dig en fin helg…
    Puss och kram Nicki

    • “WOW” faktiskt! Wolfie är mycket glada över denna senaste upptäckt:)
      vetenskap fiktion blir vetenskap faktum!
      Världar vi trodde var bara fantasin blir verklighet:)
      Puss och kram tillbaka till dig! Wolfie;)

  10. Merhaba)) ziyarettiniz için teşekkür ederim
    size iyi geceler dilerimmm.
    Kucak dolusu sevgiler

  11. I just wonder when we will be able to travel to the new worlds 😉

  12. Thanks for the post Wolfie. The sky we once knew is changing, and we learn so much with advancement from technology to keep us growing. Makes me wonder what we will discover next. Keep up the good work. Smiles!

    • I have an app on my phone that travels back in time showing the skies as they were in times past, and how they will look in the future…that is an education in itself! And there is a whole cosmos to discover out there!

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