Photo: 'Honey I Shrunk the Planetary System' This artist's conception compares the KOI-961 planetary system to Jupiter and the largest four of its many moons. The KOI-961 planetary system hosts the three smallest planets known to orbit a star beyond our sun (called KOI-961.01, KOI-961.02 and KOI-961.03). The smallest of these planets, KOI-961.03, is about the same size as Mars. All three planets take less than two days to whip around their star.  The planets were discovered using data from NASA's Kepler mission and ground-based telescopes. The KOI-961 star is a tiny "red dwarf," just one-sixth the size of our sun. This planetary system is the most compact detected to date, with a scale closer to Jupiter and its moons than another star system.  The planet and moon orbits are drawn to the same scale. The relative sizes of the stars, planets and moons have been increased for visibility.  Image credit: Caltech
Photo: Sizing Up Exoplanets This chart compares the smallest known exoplanets, or planets orbiting outside the solar system, to our own planets Mars and Earth. Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission and ground-based telescopes recently discovered the three smallest exoplanets known to circle another star, called KOI-961.01, KOI-961.02 and KOI-961.03. The smallest of these, KOI-961.03, is about the size of Mars with a radius of only 0.57 times that of Earth. Not long ago, in Dec. of 2011, the Kepler team announced the discovery of Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f -- the first Earth-size planets ever found outside the solar system. All five of these small exoplanets have toasty orbits close to their stars, and do not lie in the more temperate habitable zone.  The ground-based observations contributing to the KOI-961 discoveries were made with the Palomar Observatory, near San Diego, Calif., and the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.  Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Photo: A New Class of Planetary Systems The artistic rendition depicts the Kepler-35 planetary system. In the foreground, Kepler-35b, a Saturn-size world orbits its host stars every 131 days. The discovery of Kepler-34b and Kepler-35b establishes a new class of planets that orbit two stars, and suggests many millions of such systems exist in our galaxy.  Image credit: © Mark A. Garlick / space-art.co.uk
Photo: The Kepler-35 System An artist's rendition of the Kepler-35 planetary system, in which a Saturn-size planet orbits a pair of stars. Kepler-35b orbits its smaller and cooler host stars than our sun every 131 days, and the stellar pair orbits each other ever 21 days.  Image credit: Lynette Cook / extrasolar.spaceart.org
Photo: This image of Type Ia Supernova Remnant 0509-67.5 was made by combining data from two of NASA’s Great Observatories. The result shows soft green and blue hues of heated material from the X-ray data surrounded by the glowing pink optical shell, which shows the ambient gas being shocked by the expanding blast wave from the supernova. Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Schaefer and A. Pagnotta (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge); Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, SAO, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Hughes (Rutgers University)
Loading...
NASA
Public
A New Class of Planetary Systems The artistic rendition depicts the Kepler-35 planetary system. In the foreground, Kepler-35b, a Saturn-size world orbits its host stars every 131 days. The discovery of Kepler-34b and Kepler-35b establishes a new class of planets that orbit two stars, and suggests many millions of such systems exist in our galaxy. Image credit: © Mark A. Garlick / space-art.co.uk
83 plus ones
15 comments