The Kepler-16 system is one a number of planet-hosting binary star systems (AKA Tatooines) discovered by the Kepler mission. Although such systems were long thought to be nigh impossible to form, they seem to actually be relatively common (rough estimates from the low current statistics put the number at 1-10% of binary systems).


In Dunhill & Alexander (2013), we used SPH simulations to show that the planet's low eccentricity is likely due to damping during migration of the planet through a gas disc. We also derived a minimum surface density for the real disc that Kepler-16b formed from, the first real constraint on the properties of discs around such a close binary. A movie of part of one of these simulations is shown below, rendered using SPLASH.

Versions of this movie and others from the paper can be downloaded from here.