Smaller stars pulse very rapidly in higher frequencies whereas bigger stars boom more slowly in lower tones, and of course there’s a direct correlation between tone and size. And there you have it: the size of the star! And with that you can calculate the size of the planet you’ve just discovered.
It’s really quite amazing, when you stop to think about it; after all, none of these planets have ever actually been seen — only their effects on their stars.
That’s some might fine cosmic sleuthing there, Sherlock Kepler!
Learn more about Kepler’s adventures at http://kepler.nasa.gov/
Beate Czogalla is the Professor of Theater Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College & State University. She has had a lifelong interest in space exploration and has been a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ NASA for many years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org