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Kepler-10b exoplanet, artwork

January 10, 2011 WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its  first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b

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Kepler-10b exoplanet, artwork

January 10, 2011
WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its
first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Measuring 1.4 times the size of
Earth, it is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar
system.
The discovery of this so-called exoplanet is based on more than eight
months of data collected by the spacecraft from May 2009 to early
January 2010.
"All of Kepler's best capabilities have converged to yield the first
solid evidence of a rocky planet orbiting a star other than our sun,"
said Natalie Batalha, Kepler's deputy science team lead at NASA's
Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and primary author of
a paper on the discovery accepted by the Astrophysical Journal. "The
Kepler team made a commitment in 2010 about finding the telltale
signatures of small planets in the data, and it's beginning to pay
off."
Kepler's ultra-precise photometer measures the tiny decrease in a
star's brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it.
The size of the planet can be derived from these periodic dips in
brightness. The distance between the planet and the star is
calculated by measuring the time between successive dips as the
planet orbits the star.
Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets
in or near the habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where
liquid water can exist on the planet's surface. However, since it
orbits once every 0.84 days, Kepler-10b is more than 20 times closer
to its star than Mercury is to our sun and not in the habitable zone.
Kepler-10 was the first star identified that could potentially harbor
a small transiting planet, placing it at the top of the list for
ground-based observations with the W.M. Keck Observatory 10-meter
telescope in Hawaii.
Scientists waiting for a signal to confirm Kepler-10b as a planet were
not disappointed. Keck was able to measure tiny changes in the star's
spectrum, called Doppler shifts, caused by the telltale tug exerted
by the orbiting planet on the star.
"The discovery of Kepler 10-b is a significant milestone in the search
for planets similar to our own," said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program
scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Although this planet
is not in the habitable zone, the exciting find showcases the kinds
of discoveries made possible by the mission and the promise of many
more to come," he said.
Knowledge of the planet is only as good as the knowledge of the star
it orbits. Because Kepler-10 is one of the brighter stars being
targeted by Kepler, scientists were able to detect high frequency
variations in the star's brightness generated by stellar
oscillations, or starquakes. This analysis allowed scientists to pin
down Kepler-10b's properties.
There is a clear signal in the data arising from light waves that
travel within the interior of the star. Kepler Asteroseismic Science
Consortium scientists use the information to better understand the
star, just as earthquakes are used to learn about Earth's interior
structure. As a result of this analysis, Kepler-10 is one of the most
well characterized planet-hosting stars in the universe.
That's good news for the team studying Kepler-10b. Accurate stellar
properties yield accurate planet properties. In the case of
Kepler-10b, the picture that emerges is of a rocky planet with a mass
4.6 times that of Earth and with an average density of 8.8 grams per
cubic centimeter -- similar to that of an iron dumbbell

© Detlev van Ravenswaay

Media ID 6330795

Watermarking and Website Address do not appear on finished products

axtra-solar planet, draco, earth size, high surface temperature, kepler, kepler 10b, kepler mission, mercury-like, smallest, stellar disc, transiting

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430 Reviews

James F

Very good service and excellent product.

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paul l

Great picture, well packaged.

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Very fast delivery and excellent photo.

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Sheena R

Item arrived very quickly and was as described.

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Anonymous

Very prompt, and satisfactory, response to email query following placement of order, and very quick delivery, (next day,) of the item ordered. Thank you.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent quality image. Well-packaged and shipped quickly enough. Thank you.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

The card was just what I wanted & arrived very quickly. Thank you

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anthony k

Great range of subjects and hard to find memories. Pleased with the quality and service.

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laurence c

A GREAT QUALITY PHOTO BACKED BY A GOOD QUALITY SERVICE AND DELIVERY.

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Keri G

Great product, my husband loved it!

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Card was delivered in good condition and on time

Posted 2 weeks ago

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Any purchase bought as a Christmas present after 31st October can be returned up to January 6th. The item must be returned in the condition that you received it and in its original packaging.


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Important: We only refund upon receipt, therefore advise returning items via a trackable method.

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We check every single return, if an item is found not to be faulty by our independent tests we may return the item with a postage charge. A full charge will be made on goods that have been returned in a used or unsalable condition (e.g. damaged packaging, torn, scuffed or dirty goods). We reserve the right to return to you (at your cost) any item returned to us after 14 days, or not in compliance with the conditions above.

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