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Kepler-10b – The first unambiguous rocky exoplanet

10 Jan 2011, 21:31 UTC
Kepler-10b – The first unambiguous rocky exoplanet
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It is done. The Kepler team finally announced the discovery of its first terrestrial exoplanet. A referred journal, accepted in the Astrophysical journal (link soon here) by Natalie Bataldha and a large number of colleagues, describes this new member of the exoplanet family. This is the 519th known exoplanet based on the Extra-solar Planets Catalog, but definitely a special one.
Skychart showing the position of KIC 11904151, a faint (11th magnitude in visible) sun-like star located at 172 pc in the constellation of Draco which host Kepler-10b and a potential additional exoplanet.
This new exoplanet, named Kepler-10b orbits around a Sun-like star, twice the age of our sun (~12 Gyrs) but similar in size and color. This main-sequence star is identified as KIC 11904151, one of the 13.2 million stars of the Kepler Input Catalog and it is located at 173 pc (576 light-years) from us. Thanks to the Kepler accurate photometric capabilities and its automatic pipeline module, a small and periodic (P~20h) attenuation of the star lasting 1.8 h and with an intensity of 0.015% was detected on a regular basis starting from May 13 2009. Several hundred detections were detected. A second, long-period (45h) and more intense (0.038%), ...

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