Life on an alien planet with two suns in its sky, like Luke Skywalker's home world Tatooine in the "Star Wars" films, may indeed be possible, a new study suggests.
A Tatooine world could be habitable despite its inevitably complicated orbit, as long as the planet stays within a particular range of distances from its two host stars, researchers said.
"This means that double-star systems of the type studied here are excellent candidates to host habitable planets, despite the large variations in the amount of starlight hypothetical planets in such a system would receive," Max Popp, an associate research scholar at Princeton University in New Jersey and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, said in a statement. [10 Real Alien Worlds That Resemble 'Star Wars' Planets]
Popp and Siegfried Eggl, a Caltech postdoctoral scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, investigated the "habitable zone" for Tatooine worlds — that just-right range of orbital distances at which liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it, could exist on a planet's surface.