Image: — Depiction of the Kepler-32 planetary system with the star and orbits drawn to scale. The relative sizes of the planets are shown at the bottom of the ?gure scaled up by a factor of 80 in relation to their orbits. Credit: Jonathan Swift, John Johnson/Caltech.

Planets Everywhere You Turn

by PAUL GILSTER on JANUARY 4, 2013

Exactly what kind of planets can form around M-class dwarf stars is a major issue. After all, these stars, comprising 70 percent or more of the stars in the galaxy, are far more common than stars like the G-class Sun. About 5500 of the 160,000 stars the Kepler mission is looking at are M-dwarfs, and of these, 66 had been found to show at least one planetary transit signal at the time a new paper on M-dwarf planets was in preparation. That paper, the work of John Johnson and postdoc Jonathan Swift (Caltech) and team, homes in on the Kepler-32 system, whose five transiting planets offer a chance to study planet formation and frequency around such stars.

Read more: Planets Everywhere You Turn — Centauri Dreams.

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