Home » News & Blogs » A System of Low Density Worlds
Bookmark and Share
Beyond Earthly Skies

A System of Low Density Worlds

23 Oct 2013, 10:00 UTC
A System of Low Density Worlds
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Using data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, four transiting planetary candidates were found around the star KOI-152. The four planet candidates, identified as KOI-152 b, c, d and e, range in size from 3.5 to 7 times the size of Earth. They circle KOI-152 with orbital periods of 13.5, 27.4, 52.1 and 81.1 days - near a 1:2:4:6 chain of commensurability. All four planet candidates orbit their parent star in a region that is tighter than Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. The planet candidates gravitationally perturb one another and cause the transit timing of each planet candidate to exhibit variations. By analysing the transit timing variations, the masses of all four planet candidates were found to be rather small for their sizes. This means that all four planet candidates around KOI-152 have low densities (Figure 3).Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a low density planet with a substantial gaseous envelope.Figure 2: Artist’s impression of a low density planet with a substantial gaseous envelope.Figure 3: The planet candidates of KOI-152, with masses and radii in Earth units. The final column shows the amount of stellar flux each planet candidate receives, where a value of 1 represents the amount of flux Earth ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod