Using the prolific
Kepler spacecraft, astronomers have
1,235 candidate planets orbiting other suns since the
Kepler mission's search for Earth-like worlds
began in 2009.
To find them, Kepler monitors
a rich star field to
identify planetary transits by the slight dimming of starlight
caused by a planet crossing the face of its parent star.
In this remarkable illustration,
all of Kepler's planet candidates
are shown in transit with their parent stars ordered by size from
top left to bottom right.
Stars and the silhouettes of transiting planets are all shown
at the same relative scale, with saturated
Of course, some stars show
more than one planet in transit, but
you may have to
examine the picture at high resolution to spot
For reference, the Sun is shown at the same scale, by itself below
the top row on the right.
In silhouette against the Sun's disk, both Jupiter and Earth
are in transit.