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Kepler Mission

Kepler Mission

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Kepler Mission

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  1. Kepler Mission

  2. Transit Method • Planetary transits cause some light from a star to be blocked. • The change in light is small for exoplanets. • Hard to detect on Earth • Requires edge-on orbit 2012 transit of Venus

  3. Mission Design • NASA designed the Kepler spacecraft to hunt for exoplanets. • Transit method • Precision photometer • Fixed field of view • Kepler launched March 6, 2009. Specifications • 0.95 m Schmidt telescope • 105 square degrees • 100,000 star field • Multi-year observation

  4. First Terrestrial • Kepler 10-b was spotted in 2009; announced in 2011. • 1.4 Earth diameter • 3.3 Earth mass • Close to star

  5. Multiplanet System • The Kepler 11 system has six planets. • Between 2 and 4 times the size of Earth • All closer than Venus Nature.com

  6. Kepler Planets • Data from Kepler now accounts for the majority of exoplanet sightings. • Red – direct imaging • Blue – Doppler shift • Green – transit method wikipedia

  7. Exoplanet Mass • Doppler data found many giant planets. • Larger than Jupiter • Kepler has been very successful finding Earth-sized planets. • Masses like the solar system

  8. Catalogs • The first extrasolar planet was observed in 1995. • Today there are more than 1000 systems. • Almost 2000 confirmed planets • More than 4000 candidates www.exoplanet.eu