Lowell Observatory Colloquia

NASA's Kepler Telescope Strikes Exoplanetary Gold: Systems with Multiple Transiting Planets

Darin Ragozzine

Lowell Observatory, Giclas Lecture Hall, March 21, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Planets that "transit" or cross in front of their parent star are extremely valuable for studying exoplanets beyond our own solar system. By simultaneously observing over 160000 stars almost continuously for 1.5 years, the Kepler Space Telescope has discovered 2700+ transiting exoplanet candidates, as of January 2013. One of the most exciting new results are 1000+ planet candidates around stars with more than one transiting planet. These "multi-transiting systems" are the most information-rich planetary systems outside our solar system and have already begun to transform our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. I will review Kepler's most recent results on multi-transiting systems, focusing on their dynamical architectures and frequencies, which has been the focus of my research. I will also identify the exciting prospects for future analyses of the fantastic Kepler data.

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