A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

Thomas Barclay, Jason F. Rowe, Jack J. Lissauer, Daniel Huber, François Fressin, Steve B. Howell, Stephen T. Bryson, William J. Chaplin, Jean Michel Désert, Eric D. Lopez, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Fergal Mullally, Darin Ragozzine, Guillermo Torres, Elisabeth R. Adams, Eric Agol, David Barrado, Sarbani Basu, Timothy R. Bedding, Lars A. BuchhaveDavid Charbonneau, Jessie L. Christiansen, Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, David Ciardi, William D. Cochran, Andrea K. Dupree, Yvonne Elsworth, Mark Everett, Debra A. Fischer, Eric B. Ford, Jonathan J. Fortney, John C. Geary, Michael R. Haas, Rasmus Handberg, Saskia Hekker, Christopher E. Henze, Elliott Horch, Andrew W. Howard, Roger C. Hunter, Howard Isaacson, Jon M. Jenkins, Christoffer Karoff, Steven D. Kawaler, Hans Kjeldsen, Todd C. Klaus, David W. Latham, Jie Li, Jorge Lillo-Box, Mikkel N. Lund, Mia Lundkvist, Travis S. Metcalfe, Andrea Miglio, Robert L. Morris, Elisa V. Quintana, Dennis Stello, Jeffrey C. Smith, Martin Still, Susan E. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System. Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of the Moon, and highly irradiated surface, the planet, Kepler-37b, is probably rocky with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-454
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume494
Issue number7438
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2013

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Barclay, T., Rowe, J. F., Lissauer, J. J., Huber, D., Fressin, F., Howell, S. B., Bryson, S. T., Chaplin, W. J., Désert, J. M., Lopez, E. D., Marcy, G. W., Mullally, F., Ragozzine, D., Torres, G., Adams, E. R., Agol, E., Barrado, D., Basu, S., Bedding, T. R., ... Thompson, S. E. (2013). A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet. Nature, 494(7438), 452-454. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11914