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Exploring Exoplanet Populations with NASA's Kepler Mission

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014

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Natalie M. Batalha (NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA)

(Submitted on 5 Sep 2014)

The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star-type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first three years of data, 100 of which are in the habitable zone.

The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane) which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g. velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within 1 AU of their host stars in support of NASA's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

Comments: Invited review (perspective) published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) special issue on Exoplanets. Available online at: this http URL

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Journal reference:

Batalha 2014 PNAS, vol. 111, no. 35, 12647-12654

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1304196111

Cite as: arXiv:1409.1904 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1409.1904v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Natalie Batalha Dr. 

[v1] Fri, 5 Sep 2014 19:15:47 GMT (1151kb,D)

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1904

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