header image
5,591 DISCOVERIES
1,887 CONFIRMED

Charts


  • Koi_gif-ani-v7-looping

    August 06, 2015

    Getting Closer to Another Earth: Kepler's 4500+ Planet Candidates

    In the three and a half years of its primary mission, NASA's Kepler spacecraft produced a mountain of data. Astronomers continue to mine it, finding new likely planets all the time - including Kepler-452 b, the most Earth-like exoplanet found so far. Take a look at how Kepler's cache of candidate planets has grown over time, and how we inch ever closer to finding another Earth.

    › read more

  • Hs-2015-27-a-large_web

    July 30, 2015

    Identification of Exoplanet Host Star OGLE-2005-BLG-169

    This diagram shows how astronomers observed a distant gas giant planet around OGLE-2005-BLG-169 using microlensing.

    › read more

  • Fig12-cataloghistogram_s

    July 23, 2015

    Assessment of Kepler Dataset

    A unique feature of the seventh Kepler candidate catalog is that it is the first to fully automate the assessment of transit-like signals. The total height of each bar shows the total number of Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), or transit-like signals, in each catalog.

    › read more

  • Fig11-12_new_hz_candidates_s

    July 23, 2015

    Twelve New Small Kepler Habitable Zone Candidates

    Highlighted are 12 new planet candidates from the seventh Kepler planet candidate catalog that are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in the stars' habitable zoneā€”the range of distances from a star where liquid water could exist on the surface of an orbiting planet.

    › read more

  • Fig8-a_window_into_time_s

    July 23, 2015

    A Window Into Time

    Today Kepler-452b is receiving 10 percent more energy from its parent star than the Earth is from the Sun. If Kepler-452b had the same mass as Earth it would be on the verge of experiencing the runaway greenhouse effect and the loss of its water inventory.

    › read more

  • Fig10-new_kepler_planet_cand_s

    July 23, 2015

    Kepler Planet Candidates, July 2015

    There are 4,696 planet candidates now known with the release of the seventh Kepler planet candidate catalog - an increase of 521 since the release of the previous catalog in Jan. 2015.

    › read more

  • Kep138_jun17_zoom2-final_s

    June 17, 2015

    Mars-size Kepler-138b Gets a Mass

    This plot shows the masses and sizes of the smallest exoplanets for which both quantities have been measured. The solar system planets (shown in red) are for comparison.

    › read more

  • Skittles-histo-feb15-s

    January 06, 2015

    Kepler Planet Candidates, January 2015

    The distribution of Kepler planet candidates by size as of January 2015.

    › read more

  • Scatter-gram_jan2014_radoper_s

    January 06, 2015

    Kepler Planet Candidates, January 2014

    More than three-quarters of the planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft have sizes ranging from that of Earth to that of Neptune, which is nearly four times as big as Earth. Such planets dominate the galactic census but are not represented in our own solar system.

    › read more

  • 1candidate-sizes-histo_2013-wide_0

    November 04, 2013

    Residential Candidates

    From the first three years of Kepler data, more than 3,500 potential worlds have emerged.

    › read more

  • Scatter-gram_jan2014_radoper_s

    November 03, 2013

    Kepler's Planet Candidates, November 2013

    The analysis of the first three years of Kepler data have revealed more than 3,600 candidate worlds. The diagram plots the planet candidates by oribtal period on the x-axis and size relative to Earth on the y-axis.

    › read more

  • Fig3e_s

    September 03, 2013

    Observed transit for GJ 1214 b

    Observed transit depths and theoretical models for GJ 1214 b

    › read more

  • Hs-2013-26-c-print

    July 11, 2013

    Visible-light Color of Planets Plot

    This plot compares the colors of solar system planets to the color of the hot-Jupiter-class planet HD 189733b.

    › read more

  • Ssc2013-01a_inline

    January 08, 2013

    Probing Brown Dwarf Layers

    This graph shows the brightness variations of the brown dwarf named 2MASSJ22282889-431026 measured simultaneously by both NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

    › read more

  • Eso1241dw

    October 16, 2012

    Alpha Centauri in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur)

    This chart shows most of the stars visible with the unaided eye on a clear night. The star Alpha Centauri is one of the brightest stars in the southern sky (marked with a red circle). It lies just 4.3 light-years from the Earth and one component in a triple star system.

    › read more

  • Johnsontop

    August 08, 2012

    Where are the Giants?

    Large gas-giant planets like Jupiter may be more rare in the galaxy than small, rocky worlds like Earth.

    › read more

  • 656348main_tov_transit_diag

    June 05, 2012

    Light Curve of a Planet Transiting Its Star

    Transit data are rich with information. By measuring the depth of the dip in brightness and knowing the size of the star, scientists can determine the size or radius of the planet. The orbital period of the planet can be determined by measuring the elapsed time between transits. Once the orbital period is known, Kepler's Third Law of Planetary Motion can be applied to determine the average distance of the planet from its stars.

    › read more

  • Pia15258-full

    January 11, 2012

    Smallest exoplanets compared to Earth and Mars

    This chart compares the smallest known exoplanets, or planets orbiting outside the solar system, to our own planets Mars and Earth.

    › read more

  • Hs-2012-07-b-web_print

    January 11, 2012

    Extrasolar Planet Detected by Gravitational Microlensing

    Our Milky Way galaxy contains a minimum of 100 billion planets according to a detailed statistical study based on the detection of three extrasolar planets by an observational technique called microlensing.

    › read more

  • Ssc2010-10a_sm_prev

    December 08, 2010

    Signature of a Carbon-Rich Planet

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates the presence of molecules in the planet WASP-12b -- a super-hot gas giant that orbits tightly around its star.

    › read more

  • Ssc2010-08a_sm_prev

    October 19, 2010

    How to Find a Planetary Hot Spot

    This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows how astronomers located a hot spot on a distant gas planet named upsilon Andromedae b -- and learned that it was in the wrong place.

    › read more

  • Ssc2010-05a_sm_prev

    April 21, 2010

    How to Measure Exoplanet Light

    These plots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show light from a distant planet, GJ 436b, and its star, as measured at six different infrared wavelengths.

    › read more

  • Ssc2009-02a_sm_prev

    January 28, 2009

    Exoplanet HD 80606b Infrared Light Curve

    This figure charts 30 hours of observations taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a strongly irradiated exoplanet (an planet orbiting a star beyond our own). It shows the very rapid heating the planet experienced as it swung through its closest approach to the star.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-12a_sm_prev

    July 11, 2007

    Exoplanet Forecast: Hot and Wet

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells astronomers that a toasty gas exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system, contains water vapor.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-12a_sm_prev

    July 11, 2007

    Exoplanet Forecast: Hot and Wet

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells astronomers that a toasty gas exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system, contains water vapor.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-04b_sm

    February 21, 2007

    Cracking the Code of Faraway Worlds: an Exoplanet Atmosphere

    This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope called a spectrum tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called "hot Jupiter" called HD 209458b, might be smothered with high clouds. It is one of the first spectra of an alien world.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-04b_sm_prev

    February 21, 2007

    Cracking the Code of Faraway Worlds: an Exoplanet Atmosphere

    This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called "hot Jupiter" called HD 209458b, might be smothered with high clouds. It is one of the first spectra of an alien world.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-04c_sm_prev

    February 21, 2007

    Cracking the Code of Faraway Worlds: An Exoplanet Atmosphere

    This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called "hot Jupiter" called HD 189733b, might be smothered with high clouds. It is one of the first spectra of an alien world.

    › read more

  • Ssc2007-04e_sm

    February 21, 2007

    Isolating a Planet's Spectrum

    This diagram illustrates how astronomers can capture the elusive spectra of hot-Jupiter planets by comparing observations including light from both the star and planet to those containing just the star.

    › read more

  • Thumb

    October 12, 2006

    The Light and Dark Sides of a Distant Planet

    The top graph consists of infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. It tells astronomers that a distant planet, called Upsilon Andromedae b, always has a giant hot spot on the side that faces the star, while the other side is cold and dark. The artist's concepts above the graph illustrate how the planet might look throughout its orbit if viewed up close with infrared eyes.

    › read more

  • Untitled-1

    December 14, 2005

    The Invisible Disk

    Astronomers can detect the presence of disks of dust orbiting distant stars by measuring how the combined light from the star and disk changes across different wavelengths.

    › read more

  • Ssc2005-09a_ti

    March 22, 2005

    The Language of Planetary Light

    This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space telescope shows changes in the infrared light output of two star-planet systems (one above, one below) located hundreds of light-years away.

    › read more

  • Ssc2004-20d_ti

    November 09, 2004

    Observing Young Stars: Hitting the 'Sweet Spot'

    What does an extremely young planetary system look like? The answer depends on your point of view. This diagram shows how such a system appears when viewed from different directions.

    › read more