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706 new exoplanet candidates

  1. Jun 15, 2010 #1


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    "On 15 June 2010 the Kepler Mission released data on all but 400 of the ~156,000 planetary target stars to the public. At the time of this publication, 706 targets from this first data set have viable exoplanet candidates with sizes as small as that of the Earth to larger than that of Jupiter. Here we give the identity and characteristics of 306 of the 706 targets. The released targets include 5 candidate multi-planet systems. Data for the remaining 400 targets with planetary candidates will be released in February 2011."
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2010 #2
    700 !!

    IIRC, the transit method misses ~85% of planetary systems so, even if only ~10% of that 700 are confirmed, this finding has a huge impact on the exoplanet population statistics.
  4. Jun 16, 2010 #3
    "This is exciting news, because even if only half of the possibilities pan out as exoplanets (as the Kepler team expects) the results would still almost double the count of known planets."

    Here is the notice they are releasing potential extrasolar planetary data [1st link] and the press release saying that it's data on 156,000 stars [2]. You can search the data [3] or just download the tarfiles [4] via anonymous FTP:

    to access the ftp:
    ftp archive.stsci.edu
    cd /pub/kepler/lightcurves/tarfiles

    If you do a search there appears to be anywhere from half to two thirds of the data that are marked as proprietary data which their search help gives a brief explanation of:

    Clicking on entries in this column will mark the entry for retrieval. To mark all entries, click one of the buttons labelled 'Mark All','Mark public', or 'Mark Proprietary'. (Unmarking all entries can be done the same way using the appropriate button.) For missions with proprietary data, the mark button element will have a yellow background and a '@' symbol to indicate data sets not yet public.

    I think the majority of those that are unreleased are simply Q2 data or later since this data is just from the first 42 days of the mission. What's available as the tar file appears to be all Q0 and Q1 data so I'm not certain if the 400 that are 'censored' are included in that or not. If they are withheld it seems odd that the announcement, release notes and README file make no mention of this. Still, we're talking 12+ GB of compressed data here.

    Overall and despite the reported censoring of the best candidates, I personally applaud their transparency here that surpasses anything another government related organization (or even scientific field for that matter) exhibits. Alright, maybe CERN or the LHC will be as transparent or more transparent but this is still pretty impressive.
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