Contact: Christine Pulliam
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Caption: A new analysis examined the frequencies of planets of different sizes based on findings from NASA's Kepler spacecraft, correcting for both incompleteness and false positives. The results show that one in six stars has an Earth-sized planet in a tight orbit. About a fourth of all stars in the Milky Way have a super-Earth, and the same fraction have a mini-Neptune. Only about 3 percent of stars have a large Neptune, and only 5 percent a gas giant at the orbital distances studied.
Credit: F. Fressin (CfA)
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Related news release: At least 1 in 6 stars has an Earth-sized planet