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Earth-based Observations Lead to Planet Candidates in Habitable Zones
04.24.2012
Planets Under a Red Sun
NASA Image of the Day from 2011 Oct 24: artist's concept of a young, red dwarf star surrounded by three planets.
A paper entitled "Characterizing the Cool Kepler Objects of Interest. New Effective Temperatures, Metallicities, Masses and Radii of Low-Mass Kepler Planet-Candidate Host Stars" by P. Muirhead et al was submitted to The Astrophysical Journal. The paper reports revised temperatures, masses, metallicities, and radii for 84 Kepler planet-candidate host stars, most of which are red dwarf stars. The new stellar radii are significantly less than the values previously reported. Applying the published Kepler transit parameters, the paper's authors report new physical radii for the planet candidates, new equilibrium temperatures of the planet-candidates, and that 3 of the planet-candidates are terrestrial-sized with orbital semi-major axes that lie within the habitable zones of their host stars (KOI 463.01, KOI 812.03 and KOI 854.01).

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