The first Kepler mission observed hundreds of thousands of stars, and approximately 7500 of them are of potential interest. In this astrobite, we learn how astronomers are sifting through all these data in search for exoplanets.
Look up in the sky. It’s a bird! No, it’s a background eclipsing binary! No, it’s Kepler-167e: the first transiting exoplanet that’s just like Jupiter!!!
Could icy planets be evading detection, by hiding in the outer reaches of nearby solar systems? Careful re-examination of Kepler data reveals candidate long-period exoplanets.
The Kepler Space Telescope was the workhorse of exoplanet discovery until its second reaction wheel failed, rendering it incapable of continuing its original mission. Now, Kepler is back in the game of planet hunting.
According to planet formation theory, gas giants are more massive than rocky, terrestrial planets. But Kepler-10c is the size of Neptune, and denser than the Earth! Read on to find out more about the discovery of a new class of planets.