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Thread: Kepler final catalog, first 4 years

  1. #1
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    Kepler final catalog, first 4 years

    NY Times: Is Earth All by Its Lonesome? Kepler Finds 4,034 Possible Companions

    Setting the stage for the next chapter in the quest to end cosmic loneliness, astronomers released a list on Monday of 4,034 objects they are 90 percent sure are planets orbiting other stars.

    The new list is the final and most reliable result of a four-year cosmic census of a tiny region of the Milky Way by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.
    [...]
    Among other things, Dr. Batalha said, for the first time there is at least one planet that almost matches the Earth, a rock that is only 30 percent wider and has an orbit of almost exactly one year.

    In all, there are 219 new planet candidates in the catalog. Ten of them, moreover, are in the habitable zones of their stars, the so-called Goldilocks realm, where the heat from their stars is not too cold nor too hot for liquid water.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #2
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    Kepler K2 mission catalog is completely separate.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  3. #3
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    I find this whole explanet subject amazing, and its fascinating and how fast each year it almost re-writes the astronomy and science books. I remember the whole debate if their were planets beyond our solar system, then discovery of proto planet discs and pulsar planets. The first I think was 95 a strange name 51 Pegasi hit world headlines, next we had space missions Hubble, Spitzer, Corot. Finally the launch of Kepler. The number of confirmed planets today is something close to three and a half Thousand we are also able to come up with estimates based on Kepler space data, that there could be as high as 40 billion rocky, Earth-size exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars and red dwarfs within the Milky Way alone. The Mission itself also has philosophical implications for example Drake's Equation - and the idea of Humans being the First Technological Civilization in the Universe, maybe not so much?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Kepler K2 mission catalog is completely separate.
    From the K2 mission scientist have identified nearly 100 new exoplanets.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ke...anets_999.html

    Based on data from NASA's K2 mission an international team of scientists have just confirmed nearly 100 new exoplanets, planets located outside our solar system. This brings the total number of new exoplanets found with the K2 mission up to almost 300. The new results are to be published in the Astronomical Journal.

    "We started out analyzing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets. In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries," said American PhD student Andrew Mayo at the National Space Institute (DTU Space) at the Technical University of Denmark. "This research has been underway since the first K2 data release in 2014."

    Mayo is the main author of the work being presented in the Astronomical Journal. The research has been conducted partly as a senior project during his undergraduate studies at Harvard College. It has also involved a team of international colleagues from institutions such as NASA, Caltech, UC Berkeley, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Tokyo.

  5. #5
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    We will soon have to say bye to this mission that has transformed our view that planets were rare, to, there is one everywhere you look.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...t-out-of-fuel/

    Trailing behind the Earth as it orbits the sun, the space telescope has located more than 2,500 confirmed exoplanets.

    Launched in 2009, Kepler is designed to scan the skies for planets by detecting the dip in brightness of their host stars as the planets pass in front. The space telescope's primary mission was only to last three and a half years, but after "outstanding success," its mission was extended through 2016.

    However, mechanical problems began to plague the space telescope in 2012 and 2013. Two of its reaction wheels failed, which are used to point the telescope at target stars and their orbiting planets. The telescope still works, but the craft carrying it could not stabilize the optical components, threatening to end the mission. But then NASA found a fix.

  6. #6
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    Even if Kepler dies tomorrow, it has been a landmark mission. One could argue it has fundamentally changed our understanding of the universe (particularly how common planets are).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

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    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft placed into “no-fuel-use safe mode”.

    http://spacenews.com/kepler-in-safe-...g-out-of-fuel/

    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has paused science observations upon receiving indications that the spacecraft may be finally running out of fuel after more than nine years of operations.

    In a status update distributed July 6, NASA said mission managers halted a current set of observations known as Campaign 18 and placed the spacecraft into a “no-fuel-use safe mode” July 2 after receiving indications of what the agency called an “anomalous” drop in fuel pressure in the spacecraft.

    That safe mode, mission officials said, will preserve the 51 days of “flawless” observations collected during Campaign 18. The spacecraft will remain in that safe mode until Aug. 2, when it will resume operations for a previously scheduled downlink of data through the Deep Space Network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft placed into “no-fuel-use safe mode”.

    http://spacenews.com/kepler-in-safe-...g-out-of-fuel/
    More information on what are the next steps for Kepler, after it comes out of safe mode.

    The 18th campaign has been studying a patch of sky already examined back in 2015, to help confirm previous exoplanet candidates as well as hopefully find new ones as well. When the K2 mission began in 2012, as a result of mechanical problems with two of the spacecraft’s four reaction wheels, which keep it stabilized, it was hoped that 10 observing campaigns could be accomplished, and now Kepler has completed 18.

    For the time being, Kepler is in a no-fuel-use safe mode, where it must remain stable. The Kepler engineering team will then send commands to the spacecraft on August 2 to wake up and orient itself to be able to send the data back down to Earth. If all goes well, the 19th campaign will begin on August 6. The maneuvers used to orient the spacecraft and its antenna back toward Earth are the most fuel-intensive, so it is possible that the fuel will run dry during this time.

    But even if the 19th observing campaign doesn’t happen, Kepler has already transformed our knowledge about exoplanets. Thousands of worlds have been discovered, ranging from massive gas giants larger than Jupiter to smaller rocky worlds like Earth. Some of those rocky planets are in the habitable zone of their stars, the region where temperatures can allow liquid water to remain stable on their surfaces (depending on other factors as well). We don’t know enough yet about the actual conditions on any of those planets, but they at least appear promising in terms of potential habitability.

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