Luke Skywalker's planet Tattooine has two suns that rise and fall close together. When Star Wars first came out, it seemed ridiculous that a planet could revolve around two stars at once, but as science fiction often goes, the real world catches up later. French scientists have photographed a heavenly body revolving around a binary star system. The possible planet is named 2MASS0103(AB)b, but is informally called Tattooine.
Philippe Delorme of the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, and colleagues took the picture in November last year using a telescope in Chile. Searches in the telescope's archives turned up data on the object's position in 2002 (marked in the picture by a green arrow), allowing them to trace its orbital motion around the binary stars.
Also known as Tatooines, after a fictional world in Star Wars, planets that orbit binary stars have only been found before through indirect methods. The new object orbits at a distance of about 12.5 billion kilometres, close enough to its stars to have been born from a disc of dust surrounding them, like a planet. But it is 12 to 14 times the mass of Jupiter, placing it near the dividing line between planets and failed stars called brown dwarfs.
Whether this mass is a planet or a star depends on how you define those things, as it appears now to sit on the dividing line between a planet and a star. Read more about Tattooine at NewScientist. Link -via Geekosystem
(Image credit: ESO 2013)