Tatooine was the homeworld of Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, and his son Luke Skywalker. Anakin’s former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, also resided on the planet after the Clone Wars ended, going by the name Ben Kenobi. The Hutt Clan maintained a presence on Tatooine as well, with Jabba the Hutt owning a palace in the desert.
Is your favorite Star Wars planet a desert world or an ice planet or a jungle moon?
It’s possible that your favorite planet exists right here in our galaxy. Astronomers have found over 3,700 planets around other stars, called “exoplanets.”
Some of these alien worlds could be very similar to arid Tatooine, watery Scarif and even frozen Hoth, according to our scientists.
Find out if your planet exists in a galaxy far, far away or all around you. And May the Fourth be with you!
Planets With Two Suns
From Luke Skywalker’s home world Tatooine, you can stand in the orange glow of a double sunset. The same could said for Kepler-16b, a cold gas giant roughly the size of Saturn, that orbits two stars. Kepler-16b was the Kepler telescope’s first discovery of a planet in a “circumbinary” orbit (that is, circling both stars, as opposed to just one, in a double star system).
The best part is that Tatooine aka Kepler-16b was just the first. It has family. A LOT of family. Half the stars in our galaxy are pairs, rather than single stars like our sun. If every star has at least one planet, that’s billions of worlds with two suns. Billions! Maybe waiting for life to be found on them.
Mars is a cold desert planet in our solar system, and we have plenty of examples of scorching hot planets in our galaxy (like Kepler-10b), which orbits its star in less than a day)! Scientists think that if there are other habitable planets in the galaxy, they’re more likely to be desert planets than ocean worlds. That’s because ocean worlds freeze when they’re too far from their star, or boil off their water if they’re too close, potentially making them unlivable. Perhaps, it’s not so weird that both Luke Skywalker and Rey grew up on planets that look a lot alike.
An icy super-Earth named OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb reminded scientists so much of the frozen Rebel base they nicknamed it “Hoth,” after its frozen temperature of minus 364 degrees Fahrenheit. Another Hoth-like planet was discovered in April 2017; an Earth-mass icy world orbiting its star at the same distance as Earth orbits the sun. But its star is so faint, the surface of OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb is probably colder than Pluto.
Both the forest moon of Endor and Takodana, the home of Han Solo’s favorite cantina in “Force Awakens,” are green like our home planet. But astrobiologists think that plant life on other worlds could be red, black, or even rainbow-colored!
In February 2017, the Spitzer Space Telescope discovered seven Earth-sized planets in the same system, orbiting the tiny red star TRAPPIST-1.
The light from a red star, also known as an M dwarf, is dim and mostly in the infrared spectrum (as opposed to the visible spectrum we see with our sun). And that could mean plants with wildly different colors than what we’re used to seeing on Earth. Or, it could mean animals that see in the near-infrared.
What About Moons?
In Star Wars, Endor, the planet with the cute Ewoks, is actually a habitable moon of a gas giant. Now, we’re looking for life on the moons of our own gas giants. Saturn’s moon Enceladus or Jupiter’s moon Europa are ocean worlds that may well support life. Our Cassini spacecraft explored the Saturn system and its moons, before the mission ended in 2017. Watch the video and learn more about the missions’s findings.
The next few years will see the launch of a new generation of spacecraft to search for planets around other stars. Our TESS spacecraft launched in April 2018, and will discover new exoplanets by the end of the year. The James Webb Space Telescope is slated to launch in 2020. That’s one step closer to finding life.
You might want to take our ‘Star Wars: Fact or Fiction?’ quiz. Try it! Based on your score you may obtain the title of Padawan, Jedi Knight, or even Jedi Master!
You don’t need to visit a galaxy far, far away to find wondrous worlds. Just visit this one … there’s plenty to see.
C-3PO makes me laugh because you have to remember he was assembled by a child out of things from a scrap heap. Everything about him makes sense if you bear that in mind. Anakin wanted a droid who could help his mother, but the only AI package he could find was one somebody threw out for being too fussy. The combination of tweaking to give him a worried/caring personality makes him constantly anxious. A protocol droid comes with a fair amount of language packages, but why stop there? Somebody threw out like, three different galactic language dictionaries because they weren’t the recent edition. Just load ‘em all up. all of them, even the packs that contain things like ewok and a thousand variants of different manufacturers’ droid codecs. don’t add half the other requirements most legal protocol droids have included at the factory like emergency wipe protocols or shutdown failsafes, or programmed obsolescence. Build that sucker out of non-commercial materials that are already over a hundred years old and still good, tweak it to withstand tatooine of all places.
so now you have this droid that is over thirty years old and it could never be obsolete because it was never manufactured by anybody but a kid on a sand ball somewhere, it’s never running down because it was built to last on tatooine and there’s nothing programmed in to try and urge you to buy the latest model because there is no latest model. 3P0 is simultaneously totally useless yet hyper functional because he was not made according to any specs except “the best most toughest things possible to help my mom for a long long time on a hot desert planet”
It’s called “Pustelya” (Desert) by an obscure Ukrainian band named Inside. I wanted to sort of capture the solitude and desolation of this character, and do something a little different from my usual art. This is sort of a desert landscape on another planet with two moons, and I like how it turned out. I might redo it in the future.
Solar System: 10 Things to Know This Week...Halloween Edition!
This week, we’re getting into the Halloween spirit with 10 spooktacular things to let your imagination run wild.
It’s not Halloween without our favorite scary characters, but what if they could stop bothering us Earthlings and go far, far away? We begin with where Dracula, Frankenstein, and other creepy creatures might choose to live if the galaxy were theirs to claim…
1. The dark (k)night.
The prince of darkness himself, Dracula, can finally seek sweet respite from the Sun. We think he’d love to live on a rocky planet named YZ Ceti d that orbits so close to its red star that it’s tidally locked keeping one side of the planet in perpetual nighttime and the other side in perpetual daytime, with a brilliant red sky (though we can guess which side Dracula will prefer).
2. Where art thou, werewolves?
Home sweet home for our furry Full Moon friends might just be on Trappist-1, a planetary system with seven planets—and where standing on one planet would mean the other planets look like six moons (some as big as our Moon in the sky).
3. Left in the dust.
We couldn’t think of anyone better to live on Proxima b than The Mummy. Hopefully this ancient monster can finally rest in peace on an exoplanet that scientists theorize is a desert planet once home to ancient oceans.
4. Cloudy with a chance of Frankenstein.
One scientific experiment we’d like to conduct: whether Frankenstein would rather live on HAT-P-11b or Kepler-3b, theorized to have fierce thunderstorms and lightning.
5. The walking dead.
We’re pretty confident that if zombies were to pick a planet, they’d want one that shares their love of death and destruction. We think they’d feel right at home on one of the pulsar planets, which are scorched by radiation because they orbit a dead star.
6. Rest your weary bones.
Skeletons need look no further: Osiris, an exoplanet that’s so close to a star that it’s “losing its flesh” as the star destroys it, seems like a perfect match.
7. Enough of the scary stuff.
For kids out there, turn pumpkin decorating into an out-of-this-world activity with space-themed stencils, from Saturn to the Sun.
8. Spooky sounds.
Cassini’s radio emissions from Saturn could give creaky doors and howling winds a run for their money. Listen to the eerie audio recordings here and find more HERE.
9. Pumpkin-carve like a NASA engineer.
NASA engineers design and build robots that can fly millions of miles to study other planets for a living—so on Halloween, they can’t help but bring that creative thinking to the grand old tradition of pumpkin carving. Take a cue from their creations with these insider tips.
10. Detective for a day.
From blades of ice on Pluto to a fuzzy, white “bunny” photographed on Mars, become a solar system sleuth and see if you can solve the stellar mysteries in this slideshow (then compare with how scientists cracked the case).
Kylo: I feel some compassion for the scavenger girl…..But, Not enough to stop my crusade for order-
Rey: I’m intensely lonely and ostracized by the uncle you hate.
Rey: I’m one of the last force users in the galaxy. There is no one else who can understand my plight.
Rey: I have anger issues that stem from how the world has wronged me.
Rey: My family abandoned me into hellish slavery because they feared the inmate abilities I was born with.
Kylo: Yeah, Snoke, I’m sorry but this whole ‘constant misery and pressure as Master of the Knights of where the hell even are they Ren’ isn’t doing wonders for me. I’m going to go hang out with the scavenger girl who has similarities to my own emotions and parallels to the grandfather whom I adore and idolize.