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Almost All of Kepler's Multiple-planet Candidates Are Planets

Lissauer, Jack J. and Marcy, Geoffrey W. and Rowe, Jason F. and Bryson, Stephen T. and Adams, Elisabeth and Buchhave, Lars A. and Ciardi, David R. and Cochran, William D. and Fabrycky, Daniel C. and Ford, Eric B. and Fressin, Francois and Geary, John and Gilliland, Ronald L. and Holman, Matthew J. and Howell, Steve B. and Jenkins, Jon M. and Kinemuchi, Karen and Koch, David G. and Morehead, Robert C. and Ragozzine, Darin and Seader, Shawn E. and Tanenbaum, Peter G. and Torres, Guillermo and Twicken, Joseph D. (2012) Almost All of Kepler's Multiple-planet Candidates Are Planets. Astrophysical Journal, 750 (2). Art. No. 112. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/750/2/112.

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We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lissauer, Jack J.0000-0001-6513-1659
Marcy, Geoffrey W.0000-0002-2909-0113
Rowe, Jason F.0000-0002-5904-1865
Buchhave, Lars A.0000-0003-1605-5666
Ciardi, David R.0000-0002-5741-3047
Cochran, William D.0000-0001-9662-3496
Fabrycky, Daniel C.0000-0003-3750-0183
Ford, Eric B.0000-0001-6545-639X
Gilliland, Ronald L.0000-0002-1554-5578
Holman, Matthew J.0000-0002-1139-4880
Howell, Steve B.0000-0002-2532-2853
Jenkins, Jon M.0000-0002-4715-9460
Torres, Guillermo0000-0002-5286-0251
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 November 20; accepted 2011 December 12; published 2012 April 23. Kepler was competitively selected as the 10th Discovery mission. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The authors thank the many people who gave so generously of their time to make the Kepler mission a success, chief among them Bill Borucki, who has devoted decades to developing and implementing Kepler.Useful comments were provided by Natalie Batalha, Ruth Murray-Clay, Dimitar Sasselov, Jason Steffen, and especially by Tim Brown. Kevin Zahnle and Mark Marley provided constructive comments on the manuscript. D.C.F. acknowledges NASA support through Hubble Fellowship grant No. HF-51272.01-A, awarded by STScI, operated by AURA under contract NAS 5-26555.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHF-51272.01-A
NASANAS 5-26555
Subject Keywords:planetary systems; planets and satellites: detection; techniques: photometric
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120530-140026379
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Almost All of Kepler's Multiple-planet Candidates Are Planets Jack J. Lissauer et al. 2012 ApJ 750 112
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31720
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:30 May 2012 21:53
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:59

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