How Would Earth Look Like If It Had Two Suns
There’s no chance that you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t imagined how it would be like if the Earth had two suns. Well, astronomers have recently come across one such “circumbinary planet,” known as Kepler-16b. This planet is in orbit of two closely spaced suns.
Alan Boss, an astrophysicist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., and a member of the team that discovered the planet describes how that world is like. He also talks about how Earth would be like if it were in Kepler-16b’s place.
According to Boss, Kepler-16b “is a little frosty.” “Though it is closer to its stars than Earth is to the sun, the stars aren’t quite so bright, so the temperature of this planet would only be about 200 Kelvin,” which is about minus -100 F, or -73 C.
If Earth would be in its place, it would actually be even cooler. “If you replaced our sun with those stars, we would be even colder than 200 Kelvin, because we’re farther out than this Tatooine-like planet,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries.
Under such conditions, all the Earth’s water would be frozen solid, and chances are that life would have never appeared here in the first place. Earth under two suns “is not a habitable planet unless you had an advanced life form that originated elsewhere that could keep itself warm.”
Also, orbiting those two stars, one Earth year would be slightly longer than 365 days. “One star in the [Kepler] binary system has a mass 20 percent of the mass of the sun, and the other is 70 percent the mass of the sun. Together their masses only differ from our sun by 10 percent. This would make the year on Earth slightly longer, because the gravity of the stars pulling us inward would be lower, so there’s less centrifugal force and we would orbit around slower,” Boss said.
Day lengths would remain the same, however, if we also had our moon orbiting Earth.
But under normal circumstances, could have the moon be formed in the first place? “We don’t really have a good feeling of how a planet would form around these two stars. Theorists don’t really know how that would happen,” Boss said. “But now we know that the answer is yes, it can happen.”
Now, the most amazing thing here would be the view. As mister Boss sais, it would look pretty similar to how it looks like in Star Wars. They may not be as large as we see them in the movie, but they would be of different colors.