NASA has found another decidedly nifty planet. Meet Kepler-16b, the first planet ever verified to have two suns—kind of like Tatooine from Star Wars, NASA noted in its announcement. There’s no way the Saturn-sized world is habitable—it’s at least half gas—but “the discovery confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life,” Kepler’s principle investigator says. “This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not prove until now."
The planet, 200 light-years away, was spotted by a SETI Institute research team using data from the Kepler space telescope. The stars that Kepler-16b orbits are orbiting each other as well, and often eclipse each other. But scientists spotted the dimming effect of a planet zipping past regardless of the orientation of the stars, confirming that it was circling both stars and not just one.