Friday, April 19, 2013

1304.4941 (Thomas Barclay et al.)

A super-Earth-sized planet orbiting in or near the habitable zone around Sun-like star    [PDF]

Thomas Barclay, Christopher J. Burke, Steve B. Howell, Jason F. Rowe, Daniel Huber, Howard Isaacson, Jon M. Jenkins, Rea Kolbl, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Elisa V. Quintana, Martin Still, Joseph D. Twicken, Stephen T. Bryson, William J. Borucki, Douglas A. Caldwell, David Ciardi, Bruce D. Clarke, Jessie L Christiansen, Jeffrey L. Coughlin, Debra A. Fischer, Jie Li, Michael R. Haas, Roger Hunter, Jack J. Lissauer, Fergal Mullally, Anima Sabale, Shawn E. Seader, Jeffrey C. Smith, Peter Tenenbaum, AKM Kamal Uddin, Susan E. Thompson
We present the discovery of a super-earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the three-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.1%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24+/-0.4 Rearth and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-size object with a radius of 1.7+/-0.3 Rearth and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 +/- 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.
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