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The Hunt for Exoplanets, more exoplanets, and NASA announcements. Oh and more exoplanets.

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posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by Stuffed

Alright watched the press conference and it was certainly interesting so I'll post up some of the numbers they revealed and some of my opinions on it and then i will try and get a more in depth tutorial for the Planethunters classification done later tonight.

The total Kepler Candidates goes from 700+ to 1200+ rather than a new 1000 added onto the 700.
The breakdown of these candidates is as follows:

155453 Stars 1235 candidates
68 Earth size
288 Super Earth
662 Neptune
165 Jupiter
54 Habitable Zone planets

Now reading this there are probably two groups that stand out at you. 68 Earth Size, and 54 Habitable Zone Planets. Of the Habitable zone planets 1 is below Earth Size, 4 are Super Earth, and the remaining 49 are Neptune to Jupiter Sized planets. As we know from our own solar system the Jupiter, Gas Giant planets have a tendency to have quite a few moons. So 49 jovian planets each most likely with many moons exist in the habitable zone of their star, a pretty significant number although these are still planetary candidates.

The second most interesting thing talked about in the conference was the Kepler 11 System. The Kepler 11 system is the most heavily populated (in terms of planets) system found thus far located about 2,000 Light Years from Earth. With 6 CONFIRMED planets. Five of the Six planets are all very close and compact in an orbit around their star, with all 5 of them being able to fit within the distance between our Sun and Mercury. The planetary sizes of the planets in Kepler 11 range from 1.87 Earth Radius' to 3.88 Earth Radius'. Now, because we have so many planets in the system scientists are able to look at the data and extrapolate mass much better due to the gravitational tugging between the planets. Because of this, they have concluded that because they are bigger planets with lower masses that they are not super earths, but still this is an incredibly interesting stellar system.

What we can expect for the future with Kepler is that more candidates will be found by the Planethunters team yes, but overall the number of candidates found will slow down over time. This is to be expected because we have already discovered the larger, closer in stars that are much easier to spot. So the quantity of candidates will slow down, but the quality of the candidates will increase and that's when things will get extremely interesting. The habitable zone planet's we have found thus far are all around stars smaller than our own sun and much cooler, so in turn the star's habitable zone is much closer in and the orbital periods' of its' planets are shorter (can be detected easier). The future holds the possibility of confirmations of Earth like planets around stars much like our own with Year (earth time) long orbits, requiring around a minimum of three years to confirm. Patience is key here, the next few years are going to be a very important milestone for the understanding of our Galaxy.

I didn't catch the total number of confirmed planets in this batch of data but when i find it i will post up the new numbers and hope a mod could edit the OP to reflect them.
edit on 2-2-2011 by Stuffed because: (no reason given)

Edit: Guess there were only 6 confirmed planets, all the planets in the Kepler 11 system, bringing the total confirmed Kepler scope planets to 15 and the grand total up to 525.

edit on 2-2-2011 by Stuffed because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:19 PM
Ok. Those helps behind the help buttons helped me a lot with the stuff, however that planet I mentioned in my earlier post, I still can't make my mind whether there is some pulsating at least around the last 10 days on the image or if it is just noise ( ). .Generally is it important to zoom in to sections to be able to see something, or can you see it from the 35d span view? So if you were planning to go deeper with how to classify, please feel free

Few other questions come into mind in the meantime.

The data seems to show around 35 days per star. Why isn't it showing all the data from the time it started to gather it? I already encountered data, that I think would require more than 35 days to determine whether it is irregular or regular, or can this be called irregular or regular by only seeing this ?

Is the data being updated ? There are some interesting graphs, and I would like to go back and see how it evolves. When should I come back to it and expect updates ? I read somewhere that kepler is getting updates every 30 minutes, but I guess that is not the case with this website.

I learned here, that the data is not (as) updated at planethunters website, and someone managed to find quarter 2 data regarding an interesting star.

Then anoher question about already confirmed planets. I tried to search a similar 35 days light curve data on the now famous kepler-11, to see what kind of graph it produces, but I can't find it

edit: I found a semi-satisfying answer to the above question, and could find a long over 400d light curve(wish they were this long at
on kepler-11, although a small image
Image is from here

THanks for all the answers and the great thread!

edit on 2-2-2011 by inthemistandfog because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:36 PM
Thanks for a great post. You educated me on some of the other discovery techniques. It may only be me but it seems that we have gone from looking for the possibility of life in the universe to looking for a planet that can support human life. I know I'm a bit paranoid.

posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 09:18 PM
reply to post by inthemistandfog

Alright, I'm finally home from school so now i can address your questions with the attention they deserve.

First off, APH10109646 definitely appears to be pulsating from the view of the graph but the thing that will trip people up is the way the graph scales with it's data, for the sake of classification that star is relatively quiet with the pulses only being 0.001 in difference at the end. So just mark quiet, and for the most part if you can't tell just hit quiet, but if it were spiking throughout the entire graph of the star, and maybe a little more suddenly it would be pulsating.

Second, the data that you will be looking at for the most part right now is still only the first quarter. While Kepler has indeed released the other 3 months of data for all 150,000 stars will be released only 5,000 stars a day, so you've got like a 3% chance of getting a star with full data at the moment. I'm not sure how the graphs will look with the increased amount of data when it goes live as they haven't updated their blog with more info yet. I'm pretty sure they're releasing it slowly so as not to crash their web server with all of that data needing to be plotted according to their interface and not all at once. Within a month you should start seeing all star's full data though. As for the 30minute intervals, yes every 30minutes Kepler is recording data for a given star, but the data is stored with Kepler and the team and then released a night prior to their conference all at once like we saw today.

Third, addressing your confusion on Regular VS Irregular. SPH10017702 is most definitely regular, if you can "for the most part" predict the appearance of the graph it will be regular, only when there is no clear pattern should you put down irregular.

If you are interested in seeing some Q2 data right away you can head on over to: and download the files yourself. Planethunters just makes classifying and marking transits so much easier, as well as injecting your analysis into a community of about 16,000 amateur astronomers and professionals at Yale as well as other institutes/companies.

And for the Kepler 11 System i cant find a light curve for the life of me without scrolling through all the data released lol. Mainly because i can't find the Kepler ID

Hope that helped, I'll continue to try and find out the Kepler ID of Kepler 11, I don't know why they couldn't just put the ID there like everyone else does haha.

Edit: Found the Kepler 11 ID/aliases
KIC 6541920 and KOI-157
edit on 2-2-2011 by Stuffed because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 04:07 AM
Thanks for the answer!

Let's see if we can find some light curve data on the kepler-11. At least by just replacing the KIC with APH or SPH, the planethunter won't find it. All stars I've encountered at planethunters have started with that A/S+PH+8digits syntax, so maybe we need another id. Googled a 2MASS id aswell, but that won't do the trick either though

Kepler 11 ID is KIC 6541920 2MASS ID is 19482762+4154328 Kepler mag is 13.709 (brighter than Wikipedia entry) RA (J2000) = 19 48 27.63 (different than Wikipedia entry) Dec =+41 54 32.9

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by inthemistandfog

Well the Kepler 11 star won't be visible with the planethunters yet because it doesn't have an APH or SPH star number as it was withheld from the public during Quarter 1 along with 399 other stars with promising transits.

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 10:22 PM
Great Post! So far I have classified about 200 stars. The technology is amazing and it feels good to be involved. I think there is a lot of promise in the Earth and Super Earth/Neptune sized planets that have been discovered thus far. I hope that after Kepler's primary mission is over it will be repurposed to view other areas.

posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 07:34 AM
reply to post by soundofmurder

I hope that after Kepler's primary mission is over it will be repurposed to view other areas.

kepler will likely need all its fuel to survey the current field of view properly. Can't see it viewing other areas.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 02:21 AM
Slight update, nothing major but still an update in exoplanets none the less

3 new confirmed planets since the Kepler 11 announcement raising the grand total to 528.

We've got the basic find with WASP-35 b, a Jupiter sized planet very close to it's star (1.5 Jupiter Masses with a 1.5 day orbit), found with the transit method.

Then some slightly more interesting finds.
WASP-39 b, a heavily inflated Saturn mass planet orbiting closely to a late G star. This planet has about .28 times the mass of Jupiter but is 1.27 times the size making it one of the least dense planets found. Only WASP-17b and WASP-31b have lower densities than WASP-39b.


MOA-2009-BLG-387L b a planet with a very long orbital period found using the microlensing method, bumping that methods total to 12 confirmed planets. It is 2.6 Jupiter Masses and has a 1970 day orbit.

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