NASA's Kepler Telescope Discovers Seven "Scorching" Planets

  • 09 Nov 2023

Recently, astronomers analyzing data from NASA's retired Kepler space telescope have uncovered a novel system of seven extremely hot planets orbiting a distant star larger and hotter than our sun.

Key Points:

  • Kepler's Discovery: NASA's Kepler space telescope has revealed a previously unknown star system featuring seven planets.
  • These planets are described as "sweltering" and are bathed in intense radiant heat emitted by the sun-like host star, which is 10% larger and 5% hotter than our sun.
  • Planetary Characteristics: All seven planets in this system are larger than Earth, with the innermost two being slightly larger than Earth itself.
  • The remaining five planets are even more substantial, approximately twice the size of our planet.
  • The inner planets are presumed to be rocky with possibly thin atmospheres, while the outer planets are expected to possess thick atmospheres.
  • Kepler-385 System: The system has been designated the Kepler-385 system, named after the retired Kepler telescope responsible for the discovery.
  • Rare Multi-Planet System: While the catalog contains almost 4,400 planet candidates, including over 700 multi-planet systems, it is unusual to find a system with more than six planet candidates.
  • A planet candidate signifies that a planet has been detected by a telescope but has not yet been definitively confirmed to exist.
  • Expanding Astronomical Knowledge: The Kepler telescope, which ceased its primary observations in 2013 and continued an extended mission until 2018, contributed significantly to our understanding of exoplanets and their home systems.
  • It demonstrated that there are more planets in the galaxy than stars and provided comprehensive insights into the properties of these planets.