Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Kepler's Final Crop of Promising Exoplanet Discoveries

D-briefBy John WenzJune 20, 2017 9:13 PM
kepler-telscope.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

(Credit: NASA) The newest Kepler catalog draws out 219 new planetary candidates and infers that 10 of them may be habitable — doubling the number of planetary candidates in the habitable zone of their star. The Kepler catalog now stands at 2,335 confirmed planets and 4,034 strong candidates. This catalog marks the final results of the first Kepler mission, which stared at the same portion of the sky for three-and-a-half years before a busted reaction wheel forced NASA to pivot the mission to other forms of planet hunting. There were only a small number of newly confirmed planets. The data of the final catalog also suggest that there is a certain point at which super-Earths become more Neptune like, with a jump in mass as planets accumulate. This is why there seems to be so few planets between three and 10 Earth masses. The Kepler telescope looked for planetary transits, when a planet passes in front of its star and causes a slight dip in its light. The original mission took a small sample of the sky in the Cygnus constellation to act as a sort of statistical survey. When a signal is sufficiently strong, it’s considered confirmed. If it can’t quite be confirmed, it’s considered a candidate until further observation can verify a planet there. You can scroll the list of all discovered exoplanets here.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In