Super-Earth 55 Cancri e (artist's impression). It shows a hot partially-molten surface of the planet before and after possible volcanic activity on the day side. Using NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope, the researchers observed thermal emissions coming from the planet, and for the first time found rapidly changing conditions, with temperatures on the hot day side of the planet swinging between 1000 and 2700 degrees Celsius.
Volcanic Activity on Super Earth 55 Cancri e - NASA Spitzer Space Telescope
Gravitational microlensing. The graphic illustrates how a star can magnify and brighten the light of a background star when it passes in front of the distant star. If the foreground star has planets, then the planets may also magnify the light of the background star, but for a much shorter period of time than their host star. Astronomers use this method, to identify planets. (Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)
Kepler-452b & Earth. 2015-07-24. Kepler-452b is the first known near-Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. The artistic concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, which is about 60% larger. BTW we don't know if the planet has oceans and continents. Both planets orbit a G2-type star, but the Kepler star is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our Sun. As stars age, they become larger, hotter and brighter. (Image: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)
Planet Smaller than Earth Located Over 200 Light Years Away |Photo credit: Artist's rendition of the Kepler-138 system. Credit: Danielle Futselaar/SETI Institute) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art66984.asp
Planet Smaller than Earth Located Over 200 Light Years Away
An artist's impression of schoolboy Tom Wagg's planet, WASP-142b, orbiting its star, WASP-142. The planet is depicted as seen from a hypothetical moon. A second, dimmer star is seen in the background. Being 1000 light-years away, the planet is too distant to obtain a direct image. (Picture credit: David A. Hardy) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art66984.asp
UK work-experience schoolboy discovers a new planet
Kepler's Six Years In Science (and Counting): By The Numbers. (Image credit: NASA Ames/W Stenzel) The graphic tells NASA's Kepler spacecraft's story by the numbers from the moment it began hunting for planets outside our solar system on May 12, 2009. From the trove of data collected, we have learned that planets are common, that most sun-like stars have at least one planet and that nature makes planets with unimaginable diversity.
NASA's Kepler Discovers First Earth-Size Planet In The 'Habitable Zone' of Another Star. This artist's concept depicts Kepler-186f. (Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute /JPL-Caltech) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art66984.asp
January 2015. New worlds in the habitable zone from Kepler. An artist's conception of one of the newly released exo-worlds, a planet orbiting an ancient planetary nebula. (Credit: David A. Aguilar/CfA) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art66984.asp
Like Luke Skywalker's planet "Tatooine" in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars. Depicted here as a terrestrial planet, Kepler-16b might also be a gas giant like Saturn. Prospects for life on this unusual world aren't good, as it has a temperature similar to that of dry ice. But the discovery indicates that the movie's iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Relax on Kepler-16b - Where your shadow always has company
"Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between "Super-Earth" and 'mini-Neptune'. At eight time the Earth's mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger." (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) I can't see what the attraction would be of weighing 8 times as much, wouldn't be able to move! And is that someone skydiving? Bad idea.
Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially 'habitable zone' around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life exists on such a planet its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star's red-wavelength photons, giving a color palette very different to the Earthly greens. The discovery was made by Kepler, NASA's planet hunting telescope. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Where the Grass is Always Redder on the Other Side
The Kepler space telescope has been back in use since 2014. After an ingenious fix, it's now planet-hunting again, reborn as K2. The proposed target regions for the Kepler K2 mission. (Credit: NASA/Kepler)
January 2015. NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has, to date, offered scientists more than 4,000 candidate planets -- the 1,000th of which was recently verified. Eight are less than twice Earth-size and in their stars' habitable zone. All eight orbit stars cooler and smaller than our sun. The search continues for Earth-size habitable zone worlds around sun-like stars. (Credit: NASA Ames/W Stenzel)
February 2, 2011, NASA released Kepler data. This shows Keplers 1200 Planet candidates by size and location on the Photometer array of 42 CCD elements. As the number of Pale Blue Dots increase, so do the chances for finding life on a Second Earth. (Credit: NASA/Wendy Stenzel)
Kepler Discovers First Earth Sized Planets inside Habitable Zone
Visualization of the habitable zone. The red region is too warm, the blue region too cool, and the green region is just right for liquid water. Because it can be described in this way, sometimes it is referred to as the "Goldilocks Zone," too. (Credit: NASA Kepler Mission)
Habitable zone relative to size of star, comparing the Sun with Gliese 581. You can see that the habitable zone of lower mass stars is closer to the star than the Sun's habitable zone is. Seeing Mars is in the habitable zone also shows that there are factors other than distance involved in habitability. (Credit: ESO)
Solar System compared to Kepler-47, a double-star system containing two planets, one orbiting in the habitable zone - where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. One star is similar to the sun in size, but not as bright. The second one is tiny and less than 1% as bright as the Sun. This means the system's habitable zone is closer in. One year on Kepler-47c is 303 days, but it's not a world hospitable for life. It seems to be similar to Neptune. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T…
Astronomers Image Lowest-mass Exoplanet Around a Sun-like Star
Exoplanet GJ 504b (artist's depiction). In the constellation Virgo, the planet glows a dark magenta. It's about four times the mass of Jupiter and when discovered in August 2013, was the lowest-mass planet ever directly imaged around a star like the sun. (Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger) Mona Evans, "Virgo the Maiden" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183332.asp
Astronomers Image Lowest-mass Exoplanet Around a Sun-like Star
Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in 'Habitable Zone'
Kepler-186f (artist's concept). The planet resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system includes four inner planets, seen lined up in orbit around a host star that is half the size and mass of the sun. (Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art66984.asp
▶ Kepler's New Universe. "Kepler has opened up a new universe. Only about 20 years ago, we didn't know if there were any other planets around any other stars besides our own, now we know we live in a galaxy that contains more planets than stars. Every star in our galaxy has on average 1.6 planets in orbit around it." This video explains how the Kepler mission works.
Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds
Kepler mission discovered 715 new planets. 2014-02-26. The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on. (Image Credit: NASA)