Amazing image: Kepler’s transiting exoplanets

March 30th, 2011 By Nancy Atkinson in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
Visualization of Kepler's planet candidates shown in transit with their parent stars. Credit: Jason Rowe/Kepler Mission/NASA


Visualization of Kepler's planet candidates shown in transit with their parent stars. Credit: Jason Rowe/Kepler Mission/NASA

Wow. This remarkable visualization shows every Kepler planetary candidate host star with its transiting companion in silhouette. Jason Rowe from the Kepler science team created the image, and the sizes of the stars and transiting companions are properly scaled.

For reference, Rowe has included the Sun with a transiting Earth and (below the top row on the right by itself.) The largest star is 6.1 times larger that the Sun and the smallest stars are estimated to be only 0.3 times the radius of the . On his Flickr page, Rowe says the colors of the stars represent how the eye would see the star outside of the Earths atmosphere.

“Stars have been properly limb darkened and the companions have been offset relative to one another to match the modeled impact parameter. Some stars will even show more than one planet!” he writes.

For more information and high resolution versions of the image, see Jason Rowe’s Flickr page. This image is featured on today’s (March 29, 2011) Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Source: Universe Today

"Amazing image: Kepler’s transiting exoplanets." March 30th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-03-amazing-image-keplers-transiting-exoplanets.html