This amazing video brings together all 1,236 exoplanet candidates that the Kepler telescope has spotted, and it imagines how they would look all together in a single solar system. All the planets are to scale and in the correct relative positions to their star. Prepare to be blown away by just how crowded our galaxy has gotten.
The video is the work of Vancouver-based artist and educator Jer Thorp. The configuration is of course just meant as a hypothetical - gravitational forces would rip apart such a crowded solar system - but it provides an ingenious way of visualizing how all the newly discovered planet candidates fit together. Thorp notes in his description for the video:
As you can see, the vast majority of these planets orbit their stars at a distance less than Earth. This is likely due to the relatively short observation period - it is highly probable that many more planets will be found as the duration of study increases.
Two candidates are highlighed: KOI 326.01 and KOI 314.02. Out of all the candidates, those two may have the best chances of satisfying some of the "habitability" criteria astronomers tend to use.
To get the completely mind-blowing experience, be sure to watch this in full-screen, so you can really start to get a sense of all 1,236 new worlds. Lee Billings also has some great additional commentary on all the data whizzing past over at BoingBong.