Release Images

Release No.: 2011-14
For Release: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 6:00am

Kepler's Astounding Haul of Multiple-Planet Systems

multiple-planet systems discovered by Kepler as of 2/2/2011

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered 170 planetary systems containing between two and six transiting planets. This animation shows all the multiple-planet systems discovered by Kepler as of 2/2/2011; orbits go through the entire mission (3.5 years). Hot colors to cool colors (red to yellow to green to cyan to blue to gray) are big planets to smaller planets, relative to the other planets in the system.

Daniel Fabrycky

Kepler detects planets by monitoring a star's brightness very precisely. If a planet crosses the star's face from Kepler's point of view, the star will dim slightly in a specific way. Using this technique, Kepler has spotted more than 1,200 planetary candidates so far.

NASA