New transiting planet candidates are identified in 16 months (2009 May-2010 September) of data from the Kepler spacecraft. Nearly 5000 periodic transit-like signals are vetted against astrophysical and instrumental false positives yielding 1108 viable new planet candidates, bringing the total count up to over 2300. Improved vetting metrics are employed, contributing to higher catalog reliability. Most notable is the noise-weighted robust averaging of multi-quarter photo-center offsets derived from difference image analysis that identifies likely background eclipsing binaries. Twenty-two months of photometry are used for the purpose of characterizing each of the candidates. Ephemerides (transit epoch, T 0, and orbital period, P) are tabulated as well as the products of light curve modeling: reduced radius (R P/R*), reduced semimajor axis (d/R *), and impact parameter (b). The largest fractional increases are seen for the smallest planet candidates (201% for candidates smaller than 2 R⊕ compared to 53% for candidates larger than 2 R⊕) and those at longer orbital periods (124% for candidates outside of 50 day orbits versus 86% for candidates inside of 50 day orbits). The gains are larger than expected from increasing the observing window from 13 months (Quarters 1-5) to 16 months (Quarters 1-6) even in regions of parameter space where one would have expected the previous catalogs to be complete. Analyses of planet frequencies based on previous catalogs will be affected by such incompleteness. The fraction of all planet candidate host stars with multiple candidates has grown from 17% to 20%, and the paucity of short-period giant planets in multiple systems is still evident. The progression toward smaller planets at longer orbital periods with each new catalog release suggests that Earth-size planets in the habitable zone are forthcoming if, indeed, such planets are abundant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science