Tag Archives | planethunt

New Kepler Planet Candidates

There are 4,034 planet candidates now known with the release of the eighth Kepler planet candidate catalog. Of these, 2,335 have been confirmed as planets. The blue dots show planet candidates from previous catalogs, while the yellow dots show new candidates from the eighth catalog. original

Continue Reading

Kepler Habitable Zone Planets

Highlighted are new planet candidates from the eighth Kepler planet candidate catalog that are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in the stars’ habitable zone – the range of distances from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. original

Continue Reading

Assembly Line of Planets

This diagram illustrates how planets are assembled and sorted into two distinct size classes. First, the rocky cores of planets are formed from smaller pieces. Then, the gravity of the planets attracts hydrogen and helium gas. Finally, the planets are “baked” by the starlight and lose some gas. original

Continue Reading

New Branch in Exoplanet Family Tree

This sketch illustrates a family tree of exoplanets. Planets are born out of swirling disks of gas and dust called protoplanetary disks. The disks give rise to giant planets like Jupiter as well as smaller planets mostly between the size of Earth and Neptune. original

Continue Reading

Small Planets Come in Two Sizes

Researchers using data from the W. M. Keck Observatory and NASA’s Kepler mission have discovered a gap in the distribution of planet sizes, indicating that most planets discovered by Kepler so far fall into two distinct size classes: the rocky Earth-size and super-Earth-size (similar to Kepler-452b), and the mini-Neptune-size (similar to Kepler-22b original

Continue Reading

Studying the Stars with Kepler

Kepler was the first NASA mission capable of detecting Earth-size planets, using the transit method, a photometric technique that measures the minuscule dimming of starlight as a planet passes in front of its host star. original

Continue Reading

Space, astronomy and science