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KOI-872 system.jpg
Artist's conception of the Kepler-46 system showing the two planets. Planet b transits its star, the same method by which it was detected.
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Lyra
Right ascension 19h 17m 04.4929s[1]
Declination 42° 36′ 15.041″[1]
Apparent magnitude (J) 13.814[2]
Apparent magnitude (H) 13.436[2]
Apparent magnitude (K) 13.347[2]
Proper motion (μ) RA: 3.156±0.046[1] mas/yr
Dec.: 0.894±0.053[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)1.2586 ± 0.0277[1] mas
Distance2,590 ± 60 ly
(790 ± 20 pc)
Absolute bolometric
5.18 (predicted)[note 1]
[3] M
[3] R
Temperature5155±150[3] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]0.41±0.10[3][note 2] dex
Rotation27.859±0.075 days[4]
[3] Gyr
Other designations
2MASS J19170449+4236150, KIC 7109675[2]
Database references

Kepler-46, previously designated KOI-872, is a star located in the constellation Lyra. Observed since 2009 by the Kepler space observatory, it has since been found to possess a planetary system consisting of at least two planets and while it has a similar mass to the Sun (90%) it is significantly older at ten billion years.[3]

Kepler-46 b (previously KOI-872.01), was the first planet discovered in the system. It was found through detailed analysis of Kepler space observatory data. An additional planet, Kepler-46 c, was discovered by an outside group using Kepler public data through analysis of transit timing variations. While only one additional planet was confirmed by the analysis, the study revealed the potential existence of either an unconfirmed planet KOI-872.03 (KOI-872 d)[5]. Validation by multiplicity method allowed to confirm the existence of this planet which was then renamed Kepler-46d.

Planetary system[edit]

Planet b is a gas giant planet with a mass slightly less than that of Jupiter.[3] The second planet in the system was among the first to be discovered through the method of transit timing variations, and through its confirmation of KOI-872 c with a 99% confidence level has shown that the method of detection may be used to detect future extrasolar planets and, possibly, extrasolar moons.[6] This second planet exerted a gravitational force on the first planet, orbiting its host star in just 34 days. While this usually occurs on an extremely regular schedule, additional planets within the system can disrupt the time of the transit, and these disruptions can indicate the presence of a planet, even if the disrupting planet does not pass in front of the host star itself.[6]

The data show that Kepler-46 c is an approximately Saturn-mass object with an orbital period of 57 days.[6] As the planet does not itself transit its host star, there is no way of knowing its size (probably a similar size to its sibling). The measurements also suggest the existence of another planet orbiting with a period of about 6.8 days,[5] this planet was later confirmed.[7]

The method in which the planet was detected is similar to the way that the planet Neptune was discovered, in which the newly discovered planet is known by its pull on another which is already known to exist.[8]

The Kepler-46 planetary system[5][3]
(in order from star)
Mass Semimajor axis
Orbital period
Eccentricity Inclination Radius
b 0.885+0.374
0.1971±0.0001 33.648+0.004
89.04±0.14° 0.810+0.035
c 0.362±0.016 MJ 0.2811±0.0003 57.325+0.116
d 0.0679±0.0035 6.76671+0.00013
0(assumed) 88.55+0.49


  1. ^ a b c d e Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (August 2018). "Gaia Data Release 2: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 616. A1. arXiv:1804.09365Freely accessible. Bibcode:2018A&A...616A...1GFreely accessible. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833051Freely accessible.  Gaia Data Release 2 Vizier catalog entry
  2. ^ a b c d "Kepler-46". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Saad-Olivera, Ximena; et al. (2017). "Masses of Kepler-46b, c from Transit Timing Variations". The Astronomical Journal. 153 (4). 198. arXiv:1704.01541Freely accessible. Bibcode:2017AJ....153..198S. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa64e0. 
  4. ^ McQuillan, A.; Mazeh, T.; Aigrain, S. (2013). "Stellar Rotation Periods of The Kepler objects of Interest: A Dearth of Close-In Planets Around Fast Rotators". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 775 (1). L11. arXiv:1308.1845Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013ApJ...775L..11M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/775/1/L11. 
  5. ^ a b c Nesvorny, D.; et al. (2012). "The Detection and Characterization of a Nontransiting Planet by Transit Timing Variations". Science. 336 (6085): 1133. arXiv:1208.0942Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012Sci...336.1133N. doi:10.1126/science.1221141. 
  6. ^ a b c Moskowitz, Clara (May 10, 2012). "Hidden Alien Planet Revealed by Its Own Gravity". Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ Rowe, Jason F.; et al. (2014). "Validation of Kepler's Multiple Planet Candidates. III. Light Curve Analysis and Announcement of Hundreds of New Multi-planet Systems". The Astrophysical Journal. 784. 45. arXiv:1402.6534Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...784...45R. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/784/1/45. 
  8. ^ Crockett, Christopher (May 12, 2012). "New planet found in distant solar system by its tug on another world". EarthSky. Earthsky Communications. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 


  1. ^ Figure based on the following equations, which calculated bolometric (total) luminosity across all spectra based on effective temperature: (cf. Luminosity) and (cf. Absolute magnitude)
  2. ^ This measurement indicates the log10 of the relative abundance of iron in the measured star to that of the Sun.