In the spring of 2009, the Kepler Mission commenced high-precision photometry on nearly 156,000 stars to determine the frequency and characteristics of small exoplanets, conduct a guest observer program, and obtain asteroseismic data on a wide variety of stars. On 2010 June 15, the Kepler Mission released most of the data from the first quarter of observations. At the time of this data release, 705 stars from this first data set have exoplanet candidates with sizes from as small as that of Earth to larger than that of Jupiter. Here we give the identity and characteristics of 305 released stars with planetary candidates. Data for the remaining 400 stars with planetary candidates will be released in 2011 February. More than half the candidates on the released list have radii less than half that of Jupiter. Five candidates are present in and near the habitable zone; two near super-Earth size, and three bracketing the size of Jupiter. The released stars also include five possible multi-planet systems. One of these has two Neptune-size (2.3 and 2.5 Earth radius) candidates with near-resonant periods.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- February 2011
- planets and satellites: detection;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- Paper to accompany Kepler's June 15, 2010 data release