Kepler-62 System

Kepler-62 is a five-planet system about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The five planets of Kepler-62 orbit a star classified as a K2 dwarf, measuring just two thirds the size of the sun and only one fifth as bright. At seven billion years old, the star is somewhat older than the sun.

Much like our solar system, Kepler-62 is home to two habitable zone worlds, Kepler-62f and Kepler-62e. Kepler-62f orbits every 267 days and is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the smallest known exoplanet in the habitable zone of another star. The other exoplanet in the habitable zone is Kepler-62e, which orbits every 122 days and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.

The size of Kepler-62f is known, but its mass and composition are not. However, based on previous exoplanet discoveries of similar size that are rocky, scientists are able to determine its mass by association.

The two habitable zone exoplanets orbiting Kepler-62 have three interior companions, two larger than Earth and one about the size of Mars. Kepler-62b, Kepler-62c, and Kepler-62d orbit every five, 12, and 18 days, respectively, making them very hot and inhospitable for life as we know it.


[Imaginary Picture of Kepler-62 e: Credit Fuka Takagi and Yosuke A. Yamashiki]

Journal Articles:

1.) Kepler-62: A Five-Planet System with Planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth Radii in the Habitable Zone

2.) Mercury-T: A new code to study tidally evolving multi-planet systems. Applications to Kepler-62

3.) Water-Planets in the Habitable Zone: Atmospheric Chemistry, Observable Features, and the case of Kepler-62e and -62f

WEB Articles

1.) The Math: What Life On Kepler-62e Would Be Like

2.) Kepler-62e

3.) Water Planets in the Habitable Zone: A Closer Look at Kepler 62e and 62f