Star Wars moon worlds such as Endor and Yavin 4 CAN exist, scientists claim
In a galaxy far, far away, in the fictional world of Star Wars, heroes and villains live on distant worlds.
But could human life really thrive on the moons of Endor, Jedha and Yavin 4?
Star Wars obsessed astrophysicists have long debated the reality of those types of planets that are capable of sustaining life.
Now Phil Sutton, a planetary scientist at the University of Lincoln, has analyzed whether life could exist on distant “exomoons” such as those that revolve around Kepler-16b – and whether they really look the same as those depicted in the epic franchise from George Lucas.
“Although it sounds as inscrutable as Jabba de Hutt on a treadmill, many of the worlds depicted in Star Wars can exist in our universe,” he told MailOnline.
In a galaxy far, far away, in the fictional world of Star Wars, heroes and villains live on distant worlds. But could human life really thrive on the moons of Endor or Jedha (photo)?
An excellent candidate planet in our galaxy that could have an exomone, however, is Kepler-16b (depicted in an artist’s impression, left) – a gas giant about 200 light-years from our solar system. The planet also has its own equivalent in the universe of Star Wars – such as Tatooine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker (right), Kepler-16b runs not one but two stars
WHAT IS TIDAL LOCKING?
Tidal lock is the phenomenon where a moon appears in place around a planet, with only one side visible.
This happens when the rotation period – time required to rotate 360 ° – is the same as the time required to complete a job.
The lunar cycle is an example of this, where the moon completes a journey around the earth every 28 days, while it takes a while to turn around completely.
it is because of the tidal barrier that the ‘dark side of the moon’ exists.
While the moon revolves around the earth, exomoons revolve around exoplanets – worlds outside our solar system.
For the time being exomoons remain purely theoretical, since none have been discovered.
Current telescopes and astronomical techniques are not yet powerful enough to recognize these bodies.
Dr. Sutton’s work, however, focuses on their likely role in the universe and their potential capacity to accommodate life.
Thousands of astrophysicists around the world are already looking further into the universe, far beyond the reach of our sun, looking for exoplanets around distant stars.
More than 4,000 exoplanets have already been discovered by missions such as TESS and SETI.
The next step is according to Dr. Sutton finding the moons that might orbit them in orbit.
Besides having no Millennium Falcon to reach it, the problem with studying distant satellite worlds such as the big screen Endors and Jedhas is actually able to recognize them in the first place.
An excellent candidate planet in our galaxy that could have an exomone, however, is Kepler-16b – a gas giant, like our neighbors Jupiter and Saturn, which is about 200 light-years from our solar system.
The planet also has its own equivalent in the Star Wars universe – such as Tatooine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker, Kepler-16b does not spin one but two stars.
Together these stars have a mass comparable to that of our sun.
Kepler-16b is located square in the middle of the so-called ‘habitable zone’ around the twin stars where liquid water, an important ingredient for life, could exist – but it is far too large to support life itself.
Instead, astronomers make an effort to see if the giant planet has a moon, because such a satellite can be a realistic candidate for “Earth 2.0.”
If one is present, it can potentially have liquid water and be similar to the earth, making it very likely habitable – and eerily similar to the populated moons of Star Wars such as Endor or Yavin 4.
‘The planet [Kepler-16b] it’s not habitable because it’s too big, “said Dr. Sutton.
“But it can support a moon; recent research suggests that a moon the size of an earth can rotate around this binary planet and be habitable, showing that moons can exist around planets just like Tatooine. “
“Although it sounds as inscrutable as Jabba de Hutt on a treadmill, many of the worlds depicted in Star Wars can exist in our universe,” he told MailOnline. Depicted the jungle moon of Yavin 4, on which the Rebel Alliance had their main base
According to Dr. Sutton would probably be more habitable for older moons neatly connected to their planet, with circular orbits.
Tidal lock is a phenomenon where a satellite needs as much time to rotate around a planet as it does for a rotation.
The moon is nicely locked, which is that we always look the same side of the earth while never taking a look at the “dark side of the moon.”
In contrast, young, non-tidal locked moons would experience significant tides caused by the gravity of the planets they rotate.
This would cause daily volcanic activity, even before the effect is considered, which an ocean can have on a moon.
Dr. Phil Sutton from the University of Lincoln studied a ‘super Saturn’ called J1407b (depicted in this artist’s impression) to find possible moons. They are very difficult to recognize, but Sutton claims that they may be the best hope of finding extraterrestrial life
Dr. For years, Sutton has been trying to find a way to spot exomoons, with an emphasis on the so-called ‘super Saturn’ exoplanet J1407b, but to no avail.
He saw a flash in the images of the distant planet and had computer simulations performed to see if this could have been formed by a piece of rock revolving around a piece of rock – like a moon – that passes before the world.
His research, however, found the opposite, whereby the promising signal on this occasion could not be explained by the presence of a moon.
“Hopefully, if we do more research into our vast universe, these elusive exomoons will occur more often,” Dr. said. Sutton.
This, he added, “would be similar to what happened with the explosion in exoplanet discoveries in recent decades – which now stands on just over 4,000 confirmed exoplanets.”
“This is an exciting opportunity and would be a real potential to live outside of our own solar system, but now we are not at the level that we saw in Star Wars. Yet.’
|Planet or moon||Star Wars analogue|
|The moon of Saturn, Mimas||Dead star|
|Uranus and Neptune||Bespin|
|Kepler-16b and Kepler-1647 b||Tatooine|
|Kepler-10b and Kepler-78b||Mustafar|
But since the ability to get closer to our first exomoon, astrophysicists are struggling with another problem that George Lucas never had to face.
It seems almost impossible for an earthy moon to form naturally around huge planets.
“A recent study showed that Hot Jupiters – large gas giants that are close to their stars – cannot form Earth-sized exomoons as they move in to their current location near the star,” Dr. said. Sutton to MailOnline.
“A more likely scenario for a planet to have a sufficiently large moon that would be habitable, like the one in Star Wars, is if it were smaller planets that came too close to the planet and were captured.”
“We know this can happen – when Neptune captured a dwarf planet with an atmosphere, now known as Triton.”
“Triton is actually larger than Pluto, but is nevertheless classified as a moon because it is captured by Neptune’s gravitational field.”
THE REAL STAR WARS PLANETS
From the double sunset on Tatooine to the frozen wasteland of Hoth, Star Wars is filled with a galaxy of fantastic planets.
Although the words in Star Wars preceded Nasa’s discovery of real planets outside our solar system, in some cases fiction seems to be not far from the facts
“If we send our spacecraft into the solar system and aim our telescopes behind it, we often see things that seem to have been taken from the Star Wars universe,” Nasa recently wrote in a blog.
The moon of Saturn, Mimas, for example, has become known as the “Death Star” moon because of the 80-kilometer-wide Herschel crater that resembles the imperial combat station.
Mimas was first noticed by NASA in images made by the Pioneer 11 when it flew through Saturn in 1979.
This was only two years after the first Star Wars came out – so the iconic Death Star of the film was very much in public consciousness.
It has a crater known as Herschel, which is 80 miles wide – leaving a giant mark on a moon just 246 miles wide.
Even more dramatic, the crater has five miles high walls and the deepest part of the crater is six miles deep.
If Mimas were scaled up to the size of the earth, the crater would leave a scar on this planet larger than Australia.
The fiction world Star Wars has a city that covers an entire planet, known as Coruscant. The gleaming towers of Coruscant in the film are believed to represent the power and prosperity of the civilization of the Republic