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Illustrations for Discoveries

See also Presentation slides for Kepler

2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - light curves
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - light curves
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - planet sizes
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - planet sizes
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - graph of planet mass vs orbit distance
All known 400+ exoplanets as of Dec 2009 plus the 5 new planets found with Kepler. The green band represents the parameters for habitable planets. Too close to the Sun and water vaporizes. Too far from the Sun and water freezes. Too low of a mass, and the planet does not have enough surface gravity to hold onto a life sustaining atmosphere. Too large of a mass and the planet has enough gravity to hold onto the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen, and become a gas-giant planet.
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - common false positives
Two common types of astrophysical phenomena that can masquerade as a planetary transit are grazing eclipsing binaries (left), where a pair of stars orbit each other, and background eclipsing binaries (right), where a distant binary star system is aligned very close to the star of interest. These require significant amount of ground-based observations to eliminate using radial velocity techniques.
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - temperatures and sizes
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - temperatures and sizes
2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - composition of super Earths
From 2010 Jan 4 AAS Press Conference - composition of super Earths.