Kepler's first rocky planet: Kepler-10b

Natalie M. Batalha, William J. Borucki, Stephen T. Bryson, Lars A. Buchhave, Douglas A. Caldwell, Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, David Ciardi, Edward W. Dunham, Francois Fressin, Thomas N. Gautier, Ronald L. Gilliland, Michael R. Haas, Steve B. Howell, Jon M. Jenkins, Hans Kjeldsen, David G. Koch, Davidw Latham, Jack J. Lissauer, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Jason F. RoweDimitar D. Sasselov, Sara Seager, Jasonh Steffen, Guillermo Torres, Gibor S. Basri, Timothy M. Brown, David Charbonneau, Jessie Christiansen, Bruce Clarke, William D. Cochran, Andrea Dupree, Daniel C. Fabrycky, Debra Fischer, Eric B. Ford, Jonathan Fortney, Forrest R. Girouard, Matthew J. Holman, John Johnson, Howard Isaacson, Todd C. Klaus, Pavel MacHalek, Althea V. Moorehead, Robert C. Morehead, Darin Ragozzine, Peter Tenenbaum, Joseph Twicken, Samuel Quinn, Jeffrey Vancleve, Lucianne M. Walkowicz, Williamf Welsh, Edna Devore, Alan Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

438 Scopus citations


NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were detected: (1) a 152 4 ppm dimming lasting 1.811 0.024 hr with ephemeris T[BJD] =2454964.57375 +0.00060 -0.00082 + N*0.837495+0.000004 -0.000005 days and (2) a 376 9ppm dimming lasting 6.86 0.07 hr with ephemeris T[BJD] =2454971.6761+0.0020 -0.0023 + N*45.29485+0.00065 -0.00076 days. Statistical tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright enough for asteroseismic analysis. Photometry was collected at 1 minute cadence for >4 months from which we detected 19 distinct pulsation frequencies. Modeling the frequencies resulted in precise knowledge of the fundamental stellar properties. Kepler-10 is a relatively old (11.9 4.5Gyr) but otherwise Sun-like main-sequence star with T eff = 5627 44K, M = 0.895 0.060 M, and R = 1.056 0.021 R. Physical models simultaneously fit to the transit light curves and the precision Doppler measurements yielded tight constraints on the properties of Kepler-10b that speak to its rocky composition: M P = 4.56+1.17 -1.29 M , R P = 1.416+0.033 -0.036 R , and ρP = 8.8+2.1 -2.9gcm-3. Kepler-10b is the smallest transiting exoplanet discovered to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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