Friday, August 27, 2010

Two Planets on Transit

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star.

Worlds on the Edge
This artist’s concept illustrates the two Saturn-sized planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission. The star system is oriented edge-on, as seen by Kepler, such that both planets cross in front, or transit, their star, named Kepler-9. This is the first star system found to have multiple transiting planets.
Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Kepler video: Planet Orbits, Part 2