Kepler planet-detection mission: Introduction and first results

William J. Borucki, David Koch, Gibor Basri, Natalie Batalha, Timothy Brown, Douglas Caldwell, John Caldwell, Joørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, William D. Cochran, Edna Devore, Edward W. Dunham, Andrea K. Dupree, Thomas N. Gautier, John C. Geary, Ronald Gilliland, Alan Gould, Steve B. Howell, Jon M. Jenkins, Yoji Kondo, David W. LathamGeoffrey W. Marcy, Soren Meibom, Hans Kjeldsen, Jack J. Lissauer, David G. Monet, David Morrison, Dimitar Sasselov, Jill Tarter, Alan Boss, Don Brownlee, Toby Owen, Derek Buzasi, David Charbonneau, Laurance Doyle, Jonathan Fortney, Eric B. Ford, Matthew J. Holman, Sara Seager, Jason H. Steffen, William F. Welsh, Jason Rowe, Howard Anderson, Lars Buchhave, David Ciardi, Lucianne Walkowicz, William Sherry, Elliott Horch, Howard Isaacson, Mark E. Everett, Debra Fischer, Guillermo Torres, John Asher Johnson, Michael Endl, Phillip MacQueen, Stephen T. Bryson, Jessie Dotson, Michael Haas, Jeffrey Kolodziejczak, Jeffrey Van Cleve, Hema Chandrasekaran, Joseph D. Twicken, Elisa V. Quintana, Bruce D. Clarke, Christopher Allen, Jie Li, Haley Wu, Peter Tenenbaum, Ekaterina Verner, Frederick Bruhweiler, Jason Barnes, Andrej Prsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2926 Scopus citations


The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet's surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets (∼0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-980
Number of pages4
Issue number5968
StatePublished - Feb 19 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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