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Kepler-90 MultiExoplanet System - 20171214.jpg
Comparison of the Kepler-90 exoplanetary system with that of the Solar System (14 December 2017).
Observation data
Epoch 2000      Equinox 2000
Constellation Draco
Right ascension  18h 57m 44.0384s[1]
Declination +49° 18′ 18.4958″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 14.0[2]
Spectral type G0 V
Proper motion (μ) RA: −4.379±0.030[1] mas/yr
Dec.: −3.214±0.028[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)1.1501 ± 0.0149[1] mas
Distance2,840 ± 40 ly
(870 ± 10 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)ca 4.3
Mass1.2 ± 0.1[3] M
Radius1.2 ± 0.1[3] R
Surface gravity (log g)4.4[3] cgs
[3] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]−0.12 ± 0.18[3] dex
Rotational velocity (v sin i)4.6 ± 2.1[3] km/s
Age~2 Gyr
Other designations
2MASS J18574403+4918185, KIC 11442793, KOI-351
Database references
Extrasolar Planets

Kepler-90 is a G-type main sequence star located about 2,840 light-years (870 pc) from Earth in the constellation of Draco. It is notable for possessing a planetary system that has the same number of observed planets as the Solar System.

On 14 December 2017, NASA and Google announced the discovery of an eighth planet, Kepler-90i, in the Kepler-90 system: the discovery was made using a new machine learning method developed by Google.[4][5][6]

Nomenclature and history[edit]

Prior to Kepler observation, Kepler-90 had the 2MASS catalogue number 2MASS J18574403+4918185. It has the designation of KIC 11442793 in the Kepler Input Catalog, and given the Kepler object of interest number of KOI-351 when it was found to have a transiting planet candidate.

The star's planetary companion was discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission, a mission tasked with discovering planets in transit around their stars. The transit method that Kepler uses involves detecting dips in brightness in stars. These dips in brightness can be interpreted as planets whose orbits move in front of their stars from the perspective of Earth. The name Kepler-90 derives directly from the fact that the star is the catalogued 90th star discovered by Kepler to have confirmed planets.

The designation b, c, d, e, f, g, h, and i derives from the order of discovery. The designation of b is given to the first planet orbiting a given star, followed by the other lowercase letters of the alphabet.[7] In the case of Kepler-90, there are eight planets discovered, so designations up to i are used.

Stellar characteristics[edit]

Kepler-90 is a G-type star that is approximately 120% the mass and radius of the Sun. It has a surface temperature of 6080 K, and an estimated age of around 2 billion years. In comparison, the Sun is about 4.6 billion years old[8] and has a surface temperature of 5778 K.[9]

The star's apparent magnitude, or how bright it appears from Earth's perspective, is 14.[2] It is too dim to be seen with the naked eye, which typically can only see objects with a magnitude around 6 or less.[10]

Planetary system[edit]

Kepler-90 is notable for similarity of the configuration of its planetary system to that of the Solar System, in which rocky planets are nearer the star and gas giants farther away. The six inner planets are either super-Earths or mini-Neptunes due to their size. Two of the outer planets are gas giants. The outermost known planet orbits its host star at about the same distance as Earth from the Sun.

Kepler-90 was used to test the "validation by multiplicity" confirmation method for Kepler planets. Six inner planets met all the requirements for confirmation. The penultimate planet showed transit-timing variations, indicating that it is a real planet as well.[11]

The Kepler-90 system is the only eight-planet candidate system from Kepler, and the second to be discovered after the Solar System. It was also the only seven-planet candidate system from Kepler before the eighth was discovered in 2017. Additionally, the inner six planets range in size from that of Earth to smaller than Neptune, and the outer two planets are the size of gas giants. All of the eight known planet candidates orbit within about 1 AU from Kepler-90. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system show that it is stable.[12]

The five innermost exoplanets, Kepler-90b, c, i, d, and e may be tidally locked, meaning that one side of the exoplanets permanently faces the star in eternal daylight and the other side permanently faces away in eternal darkness.

The Kepler-90 planetary system[13][14][4]
(in order from star)
Mass Semimajor axis
Orbital period
Eccentricity Inclination Radius
b 0.074 ± 0.016 7.008151 89.4° 1.31 R
c 0.089 ± 0.012 8.719375 89.68° 1.18 R
i 0.107 ± 0.03 14.44912 89.2° 1.32 R
d 0.32 ± 0.05 59.73667 89.71° 2.88 R
e 0.42 ± 0.06 91.93913 89.79° 2.67 R
f 0.48 ± 0.09 124.9144 0.01 89.77° 2.89 R
g <0.8 MJ 0.71 ± 0.08 210.60697 89.8° 8.13 R
h <1.2 MJ 1.01 ± 0.11 331.60059 89.6° 11.32 R
Artist's impression of the planets of the Kepler-90 exoplanetary system compared to the eight planets of the Solar System.

Near resonances[edit]

Kepler-90's eight known planets all have periods that are close to being in integer ratio relationships with other planets' periods; that is, they are close to being in orbital resonance. The period ratios b:c, c:i and i:d are close to 4:5, 3:5 and 1:4, respectively (4: 4.977, 3: 4.97 and 1: 4.13) and d, e, f, g and h are close to a 2:3:4:7:11 period ratio (2: 3.078: 4.182: 7.051: 11.102; also 7: 11.021).[11][4] f, g and h are also close to a 3:5:8 period ratio (3: 5.058: 7.964).[15] Relevant to systems like this and that of Kepler-36, calculations suggest that the presence of an outer gas giant planet facilitates the formation of closely packed resonances among inner super-Earths.[16]

See also[edit]

  • HD 10180 — A star with at least seven known planets.
  • TRAPPIST-1 — A star with seven known planets.


  1. ^ a b c d e Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (August 2018). "Gaia Data Release 2: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 616. A1. arXiv:1804.09365. Bibcode:2018A&A...616A...1G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833051. Gaia DR2 record for this source at VizieR.
  2. ^ a b "Planet Kepler-90 b". Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Kepler-90". NASA Exoplanet Archive. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Shallue, Christopher J.; Vanderburg, Andrew (16 December 2017). "Identifying Exoplanets With Deep Learning: A Five Planet Resonant Chain Around Kepler-80 And An Eighth Planet Around Kepler-90" (PDF preprint). Retrieved 14 December 2017 – via Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
  5. ^ Chou, Felecia; Hawkes, Alison; Northon, Karen (14 December 2017). "Release 17-098 - Artificial Intelligence, NASA Data Used to Discover Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star". NASA. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ Chou, Felicia; Hawkes, Alison; Landau, Elizabeth (14 December 2017). "Artificial Intelligence, NASA Data Used to Discover Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star". NASA. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  7. ^ Hessman, F. V.; Dhillon, V. S.; Winget, D. E.; Schreiber, M. R.; Horne, K.; Marsh, T. R.; Guenther, E.; Schwope, A.; Heber, U. (2010). "On the naming convention used for multiple star systems and extrasolar planets". arXiv:1012.0707 [astro-ph.SR].
  8. ^ Fraser Cain (16 September 2008). "How Old is the Sun?". Universe Today. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  9. ^ Fraser Cain (15 September 2008). "Temperature of the Sun". Universe Today. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  10. ^ Sinnott, Roger W. (19 July 2006). "What's my naked-eye magnitude limit?". Sky and Telescope. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  11. ^ a b Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Agol, Eric; Borucki, William J.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kolbl, Rea; Star, Kimberly M.; Steffen, Jason H.; Torres, Guillermo (25 February 2014). "Validation of Kepler's Multiple Planet Candidates. II: Refined Statistical Framework and Descriptions of Systems of Special Interest". The Astrophysical Journal. 784: 44. arXiv:1402.6352. Bibcode:2014ApJ...784...44L. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/784/1/44.
  12. ^ Schmitt, J. R.; Wang, J.; Fischer, D. A.; Jek, K. J.; Moriarty, J. C.; Boyajian, T. S.; Schwamb, M. E.; Lintott, C.; Lynn, S.; Smith, A. M.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Simpson, R.; LaCourse, D.; Omohundro, M. R.; Winarski, T.; Goodman, S. J.; Jebson, T.; Schwengeler, H. M.; Paterson, D. A.; Sejpka, J.; Terentev, I.; Jacobs, T.; Alsaadi, N.; Bailey, R. C.; Ginman, T.; Granado, P.; Guttormsen, K. V.; Mallia, F.; Papillon, A. L.; Rossi, F.; Socolovsky, M.; Stiak, L. (2014-06-26). "Planet Hunters. VI. An Independent Characterization of KOI-351 and Several Long Period Planet Candidates From the Kepler Archival Data". The Astronomical Journal. 148 (28). arXiv:1310.5912. Bibcode:2014AJ....148...28S. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/148/2/28.
  13. ^ "Kepler-90". Open Exoplanet Catalog. MIT. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  14. ^ "New Worlds Atlas". NASA. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  15. ^ Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Lehmann, H.; Dvorak, R.; Gandolfi, D.; Rauer, H.; Erikson, A.; Dreyer, C.; Eigmüller, Ph.; Hatzes, A. (2013-12-31). "The Planetary System to KIC 11442793: A Compact Analogue to the Solar System". The Astrophysical Journal. 781 (1): 18. arXiv:1310.6248. Bibcode:2014ApJ...781...18C. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/781/1/18.
  16. ^ Hands, T. O.; Alexander, R. D. (2016-01-13). "There might be giants: unseen Jupiter-mass planets as sculptors of tightly packed planetary systems". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 456 (4): 4121–4127. arXiv:1512.02649. Bibcode:2016MNRAS.456.4121H. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2897.

External links[edit]