The Kepler science team today revealed an additional 461 candidate exoplanets, with four being less than twice Earth’s size and in the habitable zone.


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Worlds without end: The Kepler science team today revealed an additional 461 candidate exoplanets, with four being less than twice Earth’s size and in the habitable zone.

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively. The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler’s planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.

Of these candidates, 105 have so far been confirmed to be exoplanets by other methods.

Note that these Kepler planets are in addition to the fifteen new exoplanets noted in my previous post.

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2 comments

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Wow – amazing news. I especially like this comment (which echoes my own thoughts):

    “It is no longer a question of will we find a true Earth analogue, but a question of when.”

    …and I have a feeling the “when” is rapidly approaching – possibly imminent…

  • Perry Phillips

    So where is ETI? When planets were thought to be few, one could make good arguments why we have not seen ETI; but now that planets in the galaxy are as ubiquitous as cockroaches, doesn’t this put a huge constraint on whether ETI exists?

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