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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26;110(48):19273-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319909110. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.

Author information

1
Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26;110(48):19652.

Abstract

Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ( ) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (1 - 2 R[Symbol: see text] ). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ~200 d. Extrapolating, one finds 5.7(-2.2)(+1.7)% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.

KEYWORDS:

astrobiology; extrasolar planets

PMID:
24191033
PMCID:
PMC3845182
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1319909110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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