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A Four Planet Dance

A Four Planet Dance

New research explains the careful choreography of a multi-planet system called Kepler-233.

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 16:00

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science Currents) -- New research appearing in the journal Nature explains the careful choreography of a multi-planet system called Kepler-233, which is located about 4,458 light years away. The four planets in this solar system are each between four and nine times as large as Earth. This is the first system found to have four planets locked in resonance, which means that the timing of their orbits are each related to each other by ratios. For example, 233b, the planet nearest the star, makes three complete orbits in the time that the second closest in planet, 233c, makes two complete orbits.

For more information about the Kepler mission, please visit

A press release from Penn State about the new finding is available here

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Abigail Malate is a graphic designer at the American Institute of Physics, which produces the editorially independent news service Inside Science.