INVERSE | Aliens could exist on worlds weirdly similar to a classic Star Wars planet

An illustration of Kepler-38 b, a gas giant planet in orbit around the binary star system Kepler-38. (Credit: NASA)


APRIL 2021

Every day, in our own galaxy, there are planets circling pairs of stars. Like the planet Tatooine in Star Wars, these planets might enjoy spectacular binary sunsets — if the geometry of the planet and stars’ orbits are right.

Of course, whether there’s anyone around to appreciate those sunsets is another question. We’re still a ways off from sending robots to the nearest exoplanetary system, let alone people. So for now, we’ll have to be content with figuring out what conditions on these planets are like — and whether alien life could ever arise there.