‘Tatooine-like’ planet spotted from Earth points to future discoveries

A ground-based telescope’s detection of a known Tatooine-like planet could herald new discoveries of similar planets, researchers say.

Observers spotted Kepler-16b — an exoplanet that orbits two stars, similar to a world portrayed in the original series of “Star Wars” — using a relatively modest 75-inch (193-centimeter) telescope. The telescope is situated at Observatoire de Haute-Provence, roughly 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Marseilles, France. The University of Birmingham-led research team said that the detection shows the value of using a ground-based telescope “at greater efficiency and lower cost than by using spacecraft.”