NASA Picks the Best Real-Life Analogs to Star Wars Planets

Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 2:07PM
Space
Astronomy
Science of Star Wars
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 2:07PM
NASA Picks the Best Real-Life Analogs to Star Wars Planets
The "fourth" is strong with NASA today. The space agency has just released their picks for the real-life celestial objects that are closest to the worlds of Star Wars. 

Some of these we already knew, particularly that exoplanet Kepler-16b is an easy analog for Tatooine, since it was the first planet discovered in a binary star system. And it's interesting to see that a planet like Mustafar is completely plausible, since CoRoT-7b is a real-life planet whose sun-facing surface consists entirely of molten lava. But it's especially amazing to see that Star Wars has had such a pronounced effect on real-life astronomy. Saturn's moon, Mimas, has become widely known as the "Death Star moon" as a result of its resemblance to the Empire's weapon, and "Hoth" is a bonafide nickname for the icy exoplanet OGLE-2005-BLG-390. 

The most difficult world to find a real-life analog for will probably be Endor. NASA explains that they believe they possibly detected an exomoon orbiting an exoplanet in 2014, but the microlensing technology required to detect them is still in its infancy. But we can count on the confirmation of an exomoon remaining a priority with the space agency, since they consider exomoons to be key to the search for extraterrestrial life

Here's the full post:
 
http://nasa.tumblr.com/post/143840915714/worlds-that-will-make-you-believe-star-wars-is
 
Science
NASA
Space
Astronomy
Science of Star Wars

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