KOI 326.01: The cream of the new Kepler crop


Hot on the heels of my earlier conversation with Greg Laughlin about his valuation formula for Kepler's exoplanets, Laughlin crunched the numbers for Kepler's new list of 50 candidates orbiting in the habitable zones of their host stars:

The total value of the planets in Kepler paper's Table 6 is USD $295,897.65. As with most distributions of wealth, this one is highly inequitable—the most valuable planet candidate in the newly released crop is KOI 326.01, to which the formula assigns a value of USD $223,099.93. Assuming 5g/cc density, this planet has a mass of ~0.6 Earth masses, which is actually a little on the low side as far as the valuation formula is ensured. Nevertheless, USD $223,099.93 is a huge increase in value over Gl 581c, which charts at USD $158.32.

Back in 2009, I wrote that (in my opinion) the appropriate threshold for huge media excitement is USD 1M. With the planets in Table 6 of the paper, we are starting to get very close to that.


Here are the planets in the table with a formula valuation greater than one penny.

So there it is, folks. Get used to hearing a lot more about the quarter-million-dollar candidate world, KOI 326.01, at least until something better comes around. And don't forget about the runner-up, KOI 314.02, which is still worth a cool $71732.15.

An enterprising mind might think to go ahead and snatch up relevant domain names and search strings. But, incidentally, don't get too attached to those names. They're provisional labels in lieu of actual designations, which will be applied if and when these candidates are confirmed. KOI stands for "Kepler Object of Interest," and the three-digit number is the designation of the star in the Kepler Input Catalog. The two-digit number following the decimal point encodes the order in which transit candidates were identified around the star; so KOI 326.01 was the first identified transit candidate around star KOI 326, while KOI 314.02 was the second identified transit candidate around KOI 314.

OKLO.org: A Quarter Million Dollar World


  1. It is going to need a better name than “KOI 314.02.” I respectfully submit, “Lovemesexy KOI 314” or simply, “Lovemesexy”

  2. That classification would confuse news-gits like crazy.
    Get ready to end up with titles like “Black market planet trade unveiled” if they ever see that.
    Meanwhile, I’m french and j’exige a food guide metaphor chart, eg : KOI 326.01 is just like a classic yet tasty soufflé aux truffes with poached lobster, I give it to stars and a half.

  3. Is there anywhere we can see these tables in full, or do we have to wait for the paper to be published? I would like to be able to point to the specific stars, draw concept art, and so forth.

  4. I’m confused. If 326.01 is the first identified transit candidate around KOI 326, what is 1026.00? The zeroeth candidate around KOI 1026?

  5. Oh, how I wish I had the web chops to set up a quick planet naming registry. I’d charge people $50.00 to register the name of the planet and give 75% to the Delaware Science Teachers Association.

    KOI 1503.00 now you are called…Minos Korva
    KOI 1026.00 now you are named… Omega IV

    on and on…

  6. Oh bloody hell. And I thought people ‘buying’ stars was bad. Watch as suckers are lured into the speculative interplanetary realestate market.

    ‘All this can be yours for thirty low payments of $99.99!’

  7. I humbly submit LV-426 (Hadley’s Hope) as a candidate name. You can send me as company rep for the Weyland Yutani Construction Company to mine the place.

  8. And this, my scientist friends, is why you don’t make boneheaded announcments until a second run of the data has been made. The headlines a couple months ago were how a planet was found with a 100% chance of harboring life.

    Now it is just another rock.

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