The Discovery and Legacy of Kepler's Multitransiting Planetary System
New Astronomy Reviews
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We revisit the discovery and implications of the first candidate systems to contain multiple transiting exoplanets. These systems were discovered using data from the Kepler space telescope. The initial paper, presenting five systems (Steffen et al., 2010a), was posted online at the time the project released the first catalog of Kepler planet candidates. The first extensive analysis of the observed population of multis was presented in a follow-up paper published the following year (Lissauer et al., 2011b). Multiply-transiting systems allow us to answer a variety of important questions related to the formation and dynamical evolutionof planetary systems. These two papers addressed a wide array of topics including: the distribution of orbital period ratios, planet size ratios, system architectures, mean-motion resonance, orbital eccentricities, planet validation and confirmation, and the identification of different planet populations. They set the stage for many subsequent, detailed studies by other groups. Intensive studies of individual multiplanet systems provided some of Kepler’s most important exoplanet discoveries. As we examine the scientific impact of the first of these systems, we also present some history of the people and circumstances surrounding their discoveries.
Kepler; Exoplanet; Transits; Dynamics
Astrophysics and Astronomy
Steffen, J. H.,
Lissauer, J. J.
The Discovery and Legacy of Kepler's Multitransiting Planetary System.
New Astronomy Reviews, 83