1,235 New Planets


Scientists working with the Kepler Observatory data announced Wednesday that they have 1,235 new exo-planet candidates and that they expect more than 90% to be confirmed. This is in addition to the 500 known exo-planets discovered during the past several decades.

Five of the planets are Earth sized and occupy the habitable zone of their star. The Kepler Observatory monitors a small section of space, which is 1/400 of the sky. If the entire sky were viewed, one might expect to find 2,000 Earth size inhabitable planets. Out of 54 planets in the habitable zone of their star, the remaining 49 habitable zone candidates range from super-Earth size (up to twice the size of Earth) to larger than Jupiter

Overall, the 1,235 planets break down as follows:

  • 68 are approximately Earth-size
  • 288 are super-Earth-size
  • 662 are Neptune-size
  • 165 are the size of Jupiter
  • 19 are larger than Jupiter


The image at the right is an artist's impression of the six planet system discovered around the star called Kepler-11. The system is tightly packed. All six planets would be inside the orbit of Venus.

The findings released yesterday are based on the results of observations conducted May 12 to Sept. 17, 2009, of more than 156,000 stars in Kepler's field of view

Kepler-11
Artist impression of the six planets orbiting Kepler-11
Image Credit: Tim Pyle / NASA

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4 thoughts on “1,235 New Planets

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