Kepler space telescope finds its first extrasolar planets

Mission uncovers one Neptune-like and four Jupiter-like bodies

8:14am, January 4, 2010

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission is off to a precocious start. The first six weeks of observations recorded by the spacefaring telescope, combined with follow-up studies from the ground, have revealed five previously unknown extrasolar planets—one body roughly the size of Neptune and four low-density versions of Jupiter. All reside within roasting distance of their parent stars.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News