"Tatooine" Planet With Two Suns Could Host Habitable Moon?
NASA mission may be first to find alien moon, expert says.
Kepler-16b was discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which looks for dips in starlight as a planet transits—or passes in front of—a star, as seen from Earth.
For the new study, Billy Quarles, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington, and colleagues simulated several possible configurations for a theoretical Earth-mass world in the Kepler-16 system.
The team started by drawing up a "laundry list of parameters" for defining the habitable zone—the region around a star where a planet gets enough heat to host liquid water, essential for life as we know it—Quarles said Monday during a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.