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Lots of Tatooine-like planets around binary stars may be habitable

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SEATTLE — Luke Skywalker’s home planet in Star Wars is the stuff of science fiction. But Tatooine-like planets in orbit around pairs of stars might be our best bet in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar system.

Many stars in the universe come in pairs. And lots of those should have planets orbiting them (SN: 10/25/21). That means there could be many more planets orbiting around binaries than around solitary stars like ours. But until now, no one had a clear idea about whether those planets’ environments could be conducive to life. New computer simulations suggest that, in many cases, life could imitate art.

Earthlike planets orbiting some configurations of binary stars can stay in stable orbits for at least a billion years, researchers reported January 11 at the American Astronomical Society meeting….



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