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NASA Kepler satellite discovers phase variations of HAT-P-7 planet

August 24, 2009

NASA has recently announced that they discovered phase variations in the light curve of the transiting planet HAT-P-7. As was reported in the Science magazine the amazingly precise light curve shows both the transit of the planet as well as its occultation, when the planet hides behind the star. The light curve is here:

The really good news is that the precision of detection of the secondary eclipse is enough to detect a transiting Solar – Earth analogue around a 12th magnitude star. So the race is on! Will Kepler find and confirm the first transiting Earth?

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