Last June Centauri Dreams readers were excited about the release of Kepler results, but miffed that so much of the most interesting material was held back for later release. Now we have the release of these data, and the first thing I want to do is direct you to Greg Laughlin’s systemic site, where you can find a follow-up characterization flow chart to help work through systems of interest. Laughlin calls it a ‘template for the treasure map,’ and it’s available in full here.
What happens next? Laughlin (UC-Santa Cruz) notes the process: “Once the candidates hit the stands, there will be a rush to skim the cream, and a mobilization of follow-up observational campaigns to capitalize on the best opportunities in the data set.” He also reminds us that the brighter the parent star, the better the chances for delving deep into its exoplanetary mysteries. We’re in cream skimming time indeed, and we’ll have plenty to talk about in coming weeks.
Planetary Bonanza Around Kepler-11
For today, though, I want to focus on the unusual case of Kepler-11, a system that contains no fewer than six planets orbiting a Sun-like star. Ponder this: Before the new discovery, we had ...