This artist's concept shows an overhead view of the orbital position of the planets in systems with multiple transiting planets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission, and announced on Jan. 26, 2012. All the colored planets have been verified. The planet candidates shown in grey have not yet been verified.
This artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
Artist's concept of Kepler-10b, which was detected by NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler scientists say it's the first "unquestionably rocky" alien planet ever found.
This artist's concept illustrates the two Saturn-sized planets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission around a star called Kepler-9. A 3rd planet, just 1.5 times the size of Earth, may also be orbiting the star. This is the first star system found to have multiple transiting planets.
An artist's illustration of the extrasolar planets discovered around the star Kepler 11 by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.
This artist's concept illustrates Kepler-16b, the first planet known to definitively orbit two stars -- a real-life Tatooine, from 'Star Wars.' The planet, which can be seen in the foreground, was discovered by NASA's Kepler mission.
This graphic shows the orbits of the three known planets orbiting Kepler-18 as compared to Mercury's orbit around the Sun. The bottom graphic shows the relative sizes of the Kepler-18 and its known planets to the Sun and Earth.
An artist's illustration of Kepler-35 b, a Saturn-size planet around a pair of sun-size stars, as envisioned by artist Mark A. Garlick. The discovery of Kepler-35b and another twin sun planet, Kepler-34 b, was announced Jan. 11, 2012 and represent a new class of circumbinary planets.
This still from a NASA animation shows the orbits of the five planets residing in the Kepler-20 star system 950 light-years from Earth. The alien solar system is home to two Earth-size planets, the first such exoplanets ever found.
Comparative sizes of Kepler planets, through Kepler-22b.
The "invisible" world Kepler-19c, seen in the foreground of this artist's conception, was discovered solely through its gravitational influence on the companion world Kepler-19b (the dot crossing the star's face). Kepler-19b is slightly more than twice the diameter of Earth, and is probably a "mini-Neptune." Nothing is known about Kepler-19c, other than that it exists.
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one. The planet, called Kepler-16b, is not thought to be habitable. It is a cold world, with a gaseous surface, and it circles two stars, just like "Star Wars" Tatooine.
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has observed brightness oscillations in more than 500 sun-like stars. The white-line grids represent the field of view on the sky of the Kepler detectors.
This artist rendering shows the view from a hypothetical habitable exomoon in orbit around Jupiter- and Saturn-like worlds.
This illustration depicts the relative sizes of five newfound extrasolar planets discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft as they compare to Jupiter and the Earth.
A diagram showing the relative sizes of the new alien planets discovered by Kepler, compared to Earth and Jupiter.
This illustration shows all 1,235 of the potential alien planet candidates NASA's Kepler mission has found to date. The planets are pictured crossing front of their host stars, which are all represented to scale.
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered 170 planetary systems containing between two and six transiting planets. This graphic shows all the multiple-planet systems discovered by Kepler as of 2/2/2011; orbits go through the entire mission (3.5 years). Hot colors to cool colors (red to yellow to green to cyan to blue to gray) indicate big planets to smaller planets, relative to the other planets in the system.
Sizes of red giant stars compared to the Sun. Using the Kepler telescope, we have detected oscillations in hundreds of red giant stars. The periods of those oscillations allowed us to study the interiors of these giant stars, which represent the future life of our Sun.
An artist's illustration of Kepler-35 b, a Saturn-size planet around a pair of sun-size stars, as envisioned by artist Lior Taylor. The discovery of Kepler-35b and another twin sun planet, Kepler-34 b, was announced Jan. 11, 2012 and represent a new class of circumbinary planets.