Validation Of Kepler's Multiple Planet Candidates. III. Light Curve Analysis And Announcement Of Hundreds Of New Multi-Planet Systems
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The Kepler mission has discovered more than 2500 exoplanet candidates in the first two years of spacecraft data, with approximately 40% of those in candidate multi-planet systems. The high rate of multiplicity combined with the low rate of identified false positives indicates that the multiplanet systems contain very few false positive signals due to other systems not gravitationally bound to the target star. False positives in the multi-planet systems are identified and removed, leaving behind a residual population of candidate multi-planet transiting systems expected to have a false positive rate less than 1%. We present a sample of 340 planetary systems that contain 851 planets that are validated to substantially better than the 99% confidence level; the vast majority of these have not been previously verified as planets. We expect similar to two unidentified false positives making our sample of planet very reliable. We present fundamental planetary properties of our sample based on a comprehensive analysis of Kepler light curves, ground-based spectroscopy, and high-resolution imaging. Since we do not require spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for validation, some of our derived parameters for a planetary system may be systematically incorrect due to dilution from light due to additional stars in the photometric aperture. Nonetheless, our result nearly doubles the number verified exoplanets.