RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kepler-11 planetary system, artwork. Some of the planets are transiting their parent star. The dip in brightness of that star during such transits, as observed from Earth, is how these planets were discovered. Six planets, between 2 and 24 times the mass of Earth, have been detected in this system, which is centred on a Sun-like star around 2000 light years distant in the constellation of Cygnus. The discovery, made by NASA's Kepler Mission, was announced in February 2011. The six planets are named Kepler-11 b, c, d, e, f, and g respectively from innermost to outermost. The inner five orbit as close to their star as Mercury does to the Sun.
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