cold-ass jawas

Dumb NASA Names Frozen Gas Giant Planet ‘Tatooine’ (Because It Has Two Suns)

The Kepler planet-hunting telescope has discovered something amazing 200 light years from our own dumb planet: a frozen gas giant about the size of Saturn, which orbits dual stars. So, other than it being a frozen gas giant the size of Saturn, the planet is exactly like the baked desert world of Tatooine from the Star Wars movies.

The official name of the new planet is Kepler 16b, but astronomers are already referring to it informally as Tatooine, after the home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker in the George Lucas “Star Wars” movies, which also had two suns. Indeed, a representative from Mr. Lucas’s production company, Lucasfilm, expected to participate in a news conference at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory in California, Kepler’s home office.

“Reality has finally caught up with science fiction,” said Alan P. Boss of the Carnegie Institution, a member of the research team.

George Lucas and NASA officials are also set to announce that America will be renamed “wherever the fuck Jar Jar Binks came from.” [New York Times]

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150 comments

    1. flamingpdog

      Slightly off-topic, but do you know what toilet paper and the Starship Enterprise have in common? They both wipe out Klingons around Uranus.

      (Sorry, Barb, but you set me up.)

      1. Radiotherapy®

        do you know what toilet paper and the Starship Enterprise have in common?
        They're both for assholes?

    2. savethispatient

      Obligatory Futurama quote:
      Professor: I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.
      Fry: Oh. What's it called now?
      Professor: Urrectum.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Nerd Confession: I remember a pimply-faced version of myself watching that when it was first broadcast in 1978. Even then, I was embarrassed for Shatner. Since it was a syndicated special ("The Science Fiction Film Awards"–as far as I know, televised just the one time), I thought I was virtually the only person who remembered the damn thing until Family Guy parodied it PERFECTLY.

    1. Gurkman

      I'm pretty sure Ben Kenobi was actually talking about D.C. when he brought a "wicked hive of scum and villainy."

  1. poncho_pilot

    meanwhile, no flying cars and we're still not doing anything neat like colonizing other worlds because…hey! look over there!

  2. poncho_pilot

    Ray Comfort has already declared this newly discovered world is only 6,000 years old. because of Jesus.

  3. Schmannnity

    “Reality has finally caught up with science fiction,” said Alan P. Boss of the Carnegie Institution, a member of the research team. "

    Laffer Curve? Anyone? Anyone?

  4. LettucePrey

    America will be renamed “wherever the fuck Jar Jar Binks came from.”

    We're renaming America "The Presidio"?

  5. powersuit

    Whoa whoa whoa . . . what's with the Star Wars hate? I think they should have named it Princess Leia, because she's got two . . . because she's dreamy.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          A year or so back, I heard the loud open-window sexytime sounds of my downstairs neighbors wafting through the late night summer air… I'll admit that the voyeuristic semi-hotness of it was significantly undercut when I heard the woman moan, "Oh, KEVIN!!"

          "Oh, Kevin" has since become a running gag for me & my Married Lover.

          1. Pristine_ODummy

            Upfists for adding teh spicy to MY sexaytime.

            "Oh, Kevin!" (Did I mention that my idea of sexaytime involves lots and lots of laughing oneself sick? Yeah. That's "foreplay" in this house.

  6. flamingpdog

    In the case of the Kepler 16 system — home to Tatooine — there turned out to be a lot of dips.

    Does that mean we can rename the Congressional Republican Caucus the Kepler 16 System?

  7. ProgressiveInga

    "A frozen gas giant about the size of Saturn".

    I thought this was an article about what Chris Christie would have turned into if he hadn't stayed on vacation during last year's blizzard.

    1. jus_wonderin

      Aw shucks, you beat me to it. Still, what number sunblock would the rest of us non-orange folks need??

  8. Preferred Customer

    Reality might have caught up with science fiction when we named the first shuttle Enterprise like 30 years ago, but of course that would be acknowledging Star Trek's existence, which Star Wars geeks don't like to do.

    1. GhostBuggy

      I remember when the Smithsonian put up a model of the Millennium Falcon with other air and space craft; that seemed really incongruous to me. I mean, for all its faults, Star Trek at least presents a setting based on things NASA is doing right now, has had astronauts as background extras and so on. Star Wars is just this cool fantasy series about knights and princesses and evil wizards that became terrible and a joke in the modern day.

      Okay, so, I'm a nerd! Big deal!

      1. ShaveTheWhales

        Star Wars was the first well-done Space Opera, which derives from the term Horse Opera, which many of you younger Wonkies may never have seen, since teevee Westerns (happily, except for Have Gun, Will Travel) decayed into oblivion decades ago, and the occasional big-screen Westerns since then have mostly been a lot more thoughtful.

        Anyhow, the cantina scene in Star Wars is a perfect transposition of hundreds of saloon scenes, and if you all can't appreciate that, it's probably because you lack context, and you can also go fuck yourselves.

        1. GhostBuggy

          Yeah, the original Star Wars trilogy is a modern re-telling of a lot of different films, and they're really good. When I said "modern day," I meant the prequels, which are completely awful in almost every way.

    1. MissTaken

      NERDS? Are you calling us Wonketteers Star Wars nerds?! I'm so offended!

      I will now storm off and take my Death Star/Darth Vader Transformer home with me so you can't play with it anymore!

      1. SorosBot

        Hey I've got that one too! It's awesome; I have it set up fighting the giant Masterpiece Optimus Prime on my shelf.

        1. MissTaken

          Mine is currently in Darth Vader mode stabbing my Hello Kitty PEZ dispenser with his light saber.

          I have the Hello Kitty to remind myself that I am a girl.

          1. baconzgood

            Mine's being attacked by Medieval Dead Bruce Cambell standing on the bow of my G.I. Joe aircraft carrier.

            (this comment is 100% snark free)

  9. SayItWithWookies

    "Reality has finally caught up with science fiction"

    Right — that planet revolving around a binary star system certainly hasn't existed for billions of years.

    1. SarahsBush

      So the person with "Wookies" in their screename just nerd-burned NASA WITHOUT making a Star Wars reference?

      WELL. FUCKING. PLAYED.

      1. jus_wonderin

        You guys. Everyone knows the President of Kepler 16b was hatched in the second milineum after the Robot Wars and the dawn of the Mystery Schlomb-Codific. He was then encoded with the memories of a Middern fookle and raised as a Ninif.

        Geez Folks. Does anybody linq the SweezNet anymore????

  10. Ancient_Hacker

    Hate to be a geek, but dual stars kinda rules out any form of life that we can imagine, or even Alaska.

    You see the daily and seasonal temp swings could reach 200 or 300 degrees. Look what a 100 degree swing did to the cerebral, social, and sexual proclivities of Certain Notorious Alaskans.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Well, and there's the frozen gas giant part, too. Although, come to think of it, that's reporter-speak.."Frigid" gas-giant.

  11. Mumbletypeg

    NASA officials are also set to announce that America will be renamed “wherever the fuck Jar Jar Binks came from.”

    I went to thumb this, Wonkette Jr., forgetting there are no thumbs for the editors. Sort of like the converse of my overwork-induced haze when, here in the office complex I wearily approach the elevators trying to summon them open by flashing my employee badge at them — w/ its magnetized eye that's elsewhere intended for building access — instead of using the up/down pushbutton on the wall right in front of me.
    So yeah, like that. But would thumb that kernel of snark anyways if I could.

      1. Radiotherapy®

        Tx Monsieur, I'm in for October. I get huge space dollars for taking Mrs. Radio to the theater, and, MST3K rules.

      1. SorosBot

        I can't believe they're trying to kill the Webb Space Telescope, even as it's close to being finished; that would be Congress' biggest scientific fuckup since they killed the Superconducting Super Collider. They hate science.

        1. ShaveTheWhales

          Actually, it would be a bigger fuckup, because at least they killed the SSC before spending mondo Ameros on it. Also, why would we want Texas to get all those munnies?

  12. KeepFnThatChicken

    Much money as we've spent on that goddamn franchise, Lucas should own our Jar-Jar Binks planet by now.

    OT, and speaking of ownership, Facebook funny-person called LOLGOP said this earlier, and I spurted: "The 400 richest Americans own more Republicans than the rest of the country combined."

  13. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Just wait until the Republicans control everything again, and we have NASA selling the naming rights off to corporate America.

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Today, NASA announced a co-venture to launch a probe to "The Mar's Inc. Planet of Mars." There Probe to the Milky Way (TM) will be launched later this year.

  14. KenLayIsAlive

    Anyone notice that NASA is desperately trying to make itself relevant to avoid being caught up in the Tea Party spending cuts blood bath? I swear, They should rename Google News something like "Planets and some other shit News".

    But anyway, those people who need heating assistance can just go move to that planet with two suns, right?

  15. Wonderthing

    "The name "Tatouine" comes from the Berber word "Titawin" which means "sources". The city of Tetouan in northern Morocco has the same root. The word "Tatuin" (pronounced the same) in Spanish also means temporary tattoo, or a skidmark that you often leave in your undergarments."– Wikipedia

    Have at it, snarksters.

  16. randomsausage

    NASA's so lame. If they had any balls they'd have worked out a way to get to Toshi Station and pick up some power converters.

    1. Ken Layne

      NASA can waste time with its friends when its chores are done …. Wait, no more spaceflight, everything else contracted out to JPL … TOSHI STATION GONNA ROCK TO-NITE.

  17. Doktor Zoom

    A representative from Mr. Lucas’s production company, Lucasfilm, also stated that Mr. Lucas has generously offered to assist NASA in digitally enhancing footage of the 1969 moon landings, so that Neil Armstrong's first transmission from the lunar surface is an anguished "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" Lucas also looks forward to adding a bunch of cartoony shit that can be spun off into licensed merchandise.

    NASA, strapped for funds, is said to be considering the offer.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Do you ever spend a few seconds reviewing your memory, and consider that 42 years ago, with 42-years-ago electronics and shit, and a fucking enormous chemical rocket (i.e., controlled explosion), this country managed to briefly deposit living human beings on our quarter-million-mile-distant satellite, and bring them back still alive?

      That seems like fucking science fiction to me now.

    1. SorosBot

      Those of us who live in the hundred trillion or so years before that happens? Or, if you want to get technical, there will still be fuel in the for about 10^100 years; but the stellar remnants of the degenerate and black hole eras probably won't give off enough energy to sustain life.

  18. GlowneyHouse

    On the other hand, once in control the Koch Brothers have plans to rename our own planet "Giedi Prime"

  19. fletc3her

    I have the blu-ray box set on pre-order and now Lucas is going to have to recut the movies to show a gas giant rather than a desert planet?! Argh.

  20. ttommyunger

    My last post earned my a pop-up that stated: "Slow down, you are posting comments too quickly!" Really? A 70 year-old 'Puter-Challenged Georgia Geezer is too fast for the Wonkette? Make my fucking day!

Comments are closed.