Amazing portrait of Kepler exoplanets

Since it’s launch two years ago, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has detected over a thousand possible candidates for planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. This remarkable graphic from Jason Rowe, a member of the Kepler team, imagines every one of these in silhouette, transiting their parent star.

Kepler exoplanet candidates lined up

For comparison, the isolated star below the top row is the Sun, shown to scale with Jupiter and Earth in transit. And…

the colours of the stars are meant to represent how the eye would see the star outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Check out the full-size version of the illustration (9633 x 9633 pixels) to see the full set of planets including the smallest. Some stars are orbited by several candidates.

Image license:  Creative Commons, Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works.

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