A Dance of Two Suns and One Planet


Three Eclipsing Bodies

This artist’s movie illustrates Kepler-16b, the first directly detected circumbinary planet, which is a planet that orbits two stars. The movie begins by showing the gaseous surface of the rotating planet then pans out to show the stars it orbits. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

A Dance of Two Suns and One Planet

This artist’s animation illustrates the Kepler-16 system from an overhead view, showing the eccentric orbits of the two stars as they twirl around each other every 41 days like figure skaters. The planet, which was discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission, orbits in a circle around both of the stars every 229 days. The planet is about the mass of Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle