AAS: Kepler detects rocky super-earth

Kepler 10-b, announced at the Annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society today, has a mass of 4.6 Earth masses and a radius of 1.4 Earth radii. Density of 8.8

Kepler 10b: Exoplanet Catalog

Kepler Mission website - 700 more to go.

Kepler 10b - Mission catalog data

20 hour orbital period around an old, slightly metal poor ( Z ~ -0.15) G dwarf.
500 light years away.



Kepler 10b - artist's conception

Paper is Batalha et al (ApJ in press) - expect it will be on arXiv tonight.
Lightcurve ought to be interesting, will really tell us how deep Kepler is going to go.
11th magnitude host star, quoted at 12 +/- 4 Gyr age - sincerely hope the "+" is spurious based on assumption of symmetric errors - if it really is 16 Gyr then the star is rather more interesting then the planet... ;-)
So really 8-12 Gyr old, and probably, given its position and metallicity, more like 8-9 Gyr old.
Good astroseismology on the star, that will make an interesting paper in its own right.

Aha!


Here is the light curve (click to embiggen).

Yup, they ought to be able to go shallower.
One earth radius might be in reach... interesting.
Nice one.

Assorted animations for your viewing pleasure

Maybe a second planet, 20 Earth masses, or less, candidate label Kepler 10c, in an outer orbit at 45d orbital period and planetary radius of about 10,000 km.



Lava Falls: Kepler 10b - artist's conception

More like this

By Dr. Franck Marchis Astronomer at the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute It is done. The Kepler team finally announced the discovery of its first terrestrial exoplanet. A referred journal, accepted in the Astrophysical Journal by Natalie Batalha and a large…
By Dr. Franck Marchis, SETI Institute Kepler-16 is another great discovery coming from the Kepler telescope, the 10th NASA Discovery mission which is devoted to finding Earth-size exoplanets by monitoring variations of brightness due to transit. Today the Kepler team found a circumbinary exoplanet…
By Franck Marchis There will be a before and after Kepler Era in astronomy. Today, with the release of 1,202 exoplanet candidates from data collected with the Kepler spacecraft over 140 days of observation, we have just entered in a new age of astronomy. The Kepler spacecraft is the 10th NASA…
Two Earth Mass Planet found in close orbit around a red dwarf star Gliese 581 is an M3 red dwarf, it has a mass of about a third that of the Sun, slightly lower metal content and is about the same age probably a bit older than the Sun, we think. It is about 20 light years away. Gliese 581 was…

Seems to be quite similar to CoRoT-7b. Would have been better if the press release had at least mentioned that when stating it is the first solid evidence for an extrasolar rocky planet (admittedly there are quite a few problems pinning down the properties of CoRoT-7b)...