Since science operations began in May 2009, the Kepler team has released two catalogs of transiting planet candidates. The first catalog (Borucki et al, 2010), released in June 2010, contains 312 candidates identified in the first 43 days of Kepler data. The second catalog (Borucki et al, 2011), released in February 2011, is a cumulative catalog containing 1,235 candidates identified in the first 13 months of data.
Today the team presents the third catalog containing 1,091 new planet candidates identified in the first 16 months of observation conducted May 2009 to September 2010. These are the same candidates that the team discussed at the Kepler Science Conference held at NASA Ames Research Center in December 2011.
Here are the highlights of the new catalog: Planet candidates smaller than twice the size of Earth increased by 197 percent, compared to 52 percent for candidates larger than twice the size of Earth. Planet candidates with orbital periods longer than 50 days increased by 123 percent, compared to 85 percent for candidates with orbital periods shorter than 50 days.
The histogram summarizes the findings in the Feb. 27, 2012 Kepler Planet Candidate catalog release. The catalog contains 2,321 planet candidates identified during the first 16 months of observation conducted May 2009 to September 2010. Of the 46 planet candidates found in the habitable zone, the region in the planetary system where liquid water could exist, ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size.
Credit: NASA Ames/Wendy Stenzel
For information about the Kepler Mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler
NASA Ames Research Center