Kepler-11 Planets

The Kepler space telescope has discovered a planetary system that is fascinating astronomers.

Tourist’s Guide to the New Alien Planet System Kepler-11 – [space.com]

The new discovery of six alien planets orbiting a sunlike star may be only a small part of the data released today (Feb. 2) from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission, but it is significant as the most tightly packed planetary arrangement around a single star yet discovered.

Kepler-11 is located approximately 2,000 light-years from Earth. Astronomers used observations made by the Kepler spacecraft to detect the six planets that transit — pass in front of — the star.

NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft Discovers Extraordinary New Planetary System – [nasa.gov]

Scientists using NASA’s Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.

“The Kepler-11 planetary system is amazing,” said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. “It’s amazingly compact, it’s amazingly flat, there’s an amazingly large number of big planets orbiting close to their star – we didn’t know such systems could even exist.”

“The Kepler Six”: Hints Page-One Story of the Century May Be Coming Soon – [dailygalaxy.com]

“Kepler-11 is a remarkable system whose architecture and dynamics provide clues about its formation,” said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and Kepler science team member at Ames. “These six planets are mixtures of rock and gases, possibly including water. The rocky material accounts for most of the planets’ mass, while the gas takes up most of their volume. By measuring the sizes and masses of the five inner planets, we determined they are among the lowest mass confirmed planets beyond our solar system.”

SEE ALSO:
Kepler Space Telescope
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