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Spaceman Spiff
2002-Oct-28, 05:52 PM
For your intellectual enjoyment, and another example of the connections in science:
http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0210554

Kepler is designed primarily, as I understand it, to discover terrestrial type planets through their transits of the parent stars. However, all kinds of other nifty science in regards to other types of objects in orbit about normal stars will come out of this as well.

This is an exciting time to be an astronomer,
and I don't even work in these fields.

Enjoy.

ToSeek
2003-Jul-17, 09:51 PM
ESA's Eddington to do likewise (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=12105)

imported_Ziggy
2004-Jul-04, 01:09 AM
Due to launch in 2007, the Kepler Space Telescope will be one of the first ever telescopes able to detect Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It will use the "transit" meathod to detect these planets indirectly. When a planet passes in front of it's host star, the star's brightness is lessend by a tiny bit. Kepler will be able to detect this change in brightness. The Kepler telescope will be so sensitive that it could detect planets of Earth-size or even smaller. The Kepler telescope will have to watch thounsands of stars at a time because the chances of seeing a transit around a single star are 1 in 200, plus, the transit must be observed three times to confirm it's a planet, in fact, Kepler will watch over 100,000 stars at a time, mostly sun-like G, K, and F class. After doing some searching, I found these estimates for Kepler's expected resaults on the Kepler home page. In a estimate, 50 terrestrial planets are observed with orbits close to 1 AU. 185 terrestrial planets are observed at having orbits around 1.3 AU. And a wopping, 640 terrestrial planets are observed at having orbits close to 2.2 AU. The estimates also found that the bulk of gas giant planets will be observed at having high-speed inner orbits like Mercury. Also, the estimates predicted that most star systems will have two Earth-sized planets or larger in their system between 0.5 and 1.5 AU :o ! I think I read the resaults wrong or something, go ahead and check yourself, Kepler Mission (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/).

DippyHippy
2004-Jul-04, 10:26 PM
Wow!!! I have to admit I haven't had a chance to look through it yet, but that sounds amazing. It also makes our little solar system sound positively abnormal!

This could be very exciting!!

eburacum45
2004-Jul-06, 01:08 PM
No, it doesn't exactly imply that our system is abnormal, it just shows that planets in the innner part of the solar system are going to be more easily detected than those in the outer part.

Our solar system is probably quite normal for any system of a comparable age;

younger systems are more likely to have hot jupiters, and older systems will have fewer planets on average. This is because of the gradual increase in metallicity and dust in the nebulae from which stars are formed.

Lomitus
2004-Jul-10, 03:30 PM
I gotta agree with eburacam...our solar system is probably quite normal. Scientists have been saying for years that our sun is quite "average" and sort of not so spectacular as far as suns go. I'd guess that as we explore more and learn more about other solar systems we will also probably find that our own solar system is probably the same...very average, humdrum and middle class.

It's always been man's arogance and some of the mis-beliefs that we've held over the years that creates the idea that "there must be something special about us, our planet and our solar system"...we want to believe we're "better then everybody else out there". It's kind of the same as the idea that every parent believes their kid is special and better then everyone else's kids. In a way some of that belief isn't totally unfounded...our Sun -is- special...-TO US-! It's what keeps us alive! Our planet -IS- special...it's where we came from and whats allowed us to evolve into the creatures we are today (and we really need to learn to take care of her much better then we do!)! But I really think when you start compairing the Smith's with the Jone's on a Cosmic scale, we will probably find that over all our solar system is pretty hum-drum.

I look forward to the launch of the Kepler scope (I do wonder if it's going to have problems with geometric objects! LOL!) as well as the continued efforts of the currant space telescopes such as Hubble, Spitzer, etc.. There's just so much to see and do out there! :D

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,
Jim

ulgah
2004-Jul-15, 12:56 AM
Yes, our solar system is quite unique, if the information I gather is to be believed. I read, on the front page of the local newspaper, about two years ago that the scientists were puzzled not to find a solar system like ours, when they thought it to be so average or normal. At that time, they had found about 20 systems, all highly elliptical, with 2 or 3 larger than Jupiter size planets in close. That would wreck havoc with any small planets in the (our kind of life) zone. I realize, the closer in, large planets in highly elliptical orbits, would put more strain on the parent star, thus easier to locate via our methods. To the best of my knowledge, there has been about 110 systems detected at this point, and only one that has a circular solar system like ours. The rest are highly elliptical. The circular system is around "47 Ursae Majoris," which is about 50 LYs from us and in the vicinity of the big dipper. There may be a problem with it, also, as it is 2.5 billion years older than our sun. That puts it past prime time. Now, I'm not saying that there is no life out there, but the more I learn, the less likely it appears, to me, that there's intelligent life out there! (Nowhere close by.) Not close enough to communicate with, visit, or ever know they exist. The speed of light, the limiting factor. That is a physical law of this universe. (That may not be a law in some other universe!!) But let us keep the debate going, as I am still learning. :)

ToSeek
2006-Aug-08, 05:44 PM
Kepler Mirror Arrives at Ball Aerospace for Test and Integration (http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-08-2006/0004412377&EDATE=)


The largest optical mirror ever built for a mission beyond Earth's orbit has arrived at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for environmental testing and spacecraft integration.

NASA's Kepler mission, with a field of view 70,000 times greater than
the Hubble Space Telescope, will attempt to detect Earth-like planets
orbiting stars beyond our solar system. By continuously monitoring the
brightness of more than 100,000 stars, Kepler will search for planets that
transit in front of stars. As a planet passes in front of its parent star,
Kepler will detect the star's brightness change to determine the planet's
size and orbit. The possible discovery of Earth-size planets in the
habitable zone of other stars will be the first step in determining the
extent of life in our galaxy.

Ball Aerospace is the prime contractor for the Kepler mission, managed
by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the NASA Ames Research Center. In
addition to the 0.95-meter photometer, Ball Aerospace is building the
spacecraft, and will perform system integration and testing. The 1.4-meter
primary mirror was produced by subcontractor L-3 Communications Brashear.

ToSeek
2007-Feb-07, 09:06 PM
The Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-like Planets (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/070207_kepler_mission.html)


The hunt for Earth-like worlds orbiting distant suns will get a big boost next year with the liftoff of NASA’s Kepler mission. That spacecraft’s job is to monitor 100,000 stars in a stellar staring contest intended to detect periodic decreases in a star’s brightness—a falloff of light due to planets transiting their parent stars.

Kepler’s pursuit of rocky Earth-sized planets is a step forward in taking on some tough but major questions, such as: Are terrestrial planets common or rare? What are their sizes and distances?

Launch window
2007-Feb-14, 12:15 PM
I think Kepler may discover a few hundred planets, I'm glad that with missions like Corot and Kepler exo-planet missions are finally being taken seriously

ToSeek
2007-Jul-16, 06:29 PM
Kepler Team Cuts Costs, Avoids Cancellation (http://www.space.com/spacenews/070716_businessmonday_kepler.html)


Threatened with cancellation, the team building NASA's Kepler planet-hunting telescope found a way get the spacecraft to the launch pad by early 2009 without a new infusion of cash.

Kepler consists of a single instrument, a 0.95-meter Schmidt telescope optimized for scanning a field of stars for signs of potentially habitable Earth-size planets. Integration of the spacecraft gets under way this summer, with the telescope due to be installed a year from now. A Delta 2 rocket is slated to launch Kepler into an Earth-trailing orbit.

The price tag for the Discovery-class mission has risen several times since its 2001 selection due to a combination of factors, including management problems, technical challenges and budget fluctuations beyond the project's control. In mid-2006, believing Kepler's problems were largely in the past, NASA accepted a 21-percent cost increase for construction of the telescope, pushing the total cost of the mission above $550 million. The launch date also slipped another five months past its original 2006 target to November 2008.

Launch window
2008-Jan-09, 10:39 AM
the ny times mentions kepler


WASHINGTON — In Washington, it almost seems radical — completing government projects at their original budgeted cost.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/science/space/01stern.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

A Kepler mirror inspection.


One project S. Alan Stern reined in was the Kepler mission to launch a planet-hunting telescope.

Yet at NASA, the new director of the space science division appears to be making headway at doing just that, creating some anguish among researchers and contractors along the way.

In his eight months on the job, the director, S. Alan Stern, has turned back almost a half-dozen requests for more money from projects experiencing cost overruns, he said. That has forced mission leaders to trim parts of their projects, streamline procedures or find other sources of financing.

Dr. Stern, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist, became associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in April. In an appearance before Congress the next month, he outlined a tough plan for keeping missions on budget and holding leaders responsible: better cost-estimating tools to more realistically price missions, more experience for scientists running projects, and new studies to better understand and reduce technology risks.

NASA devotes about $5.4 billion a year to its science program, divided among specialties like astrophysics, earth science and planetary exploration. To finance President Bush’s exploration initiative to return humans to the Moon, while also financing space shuttle operations and a shuttle replacement out of the agency’s approximately $16 billion annual budget, science program money is being held to about a 1 percent increase per year for four years.

Factoring in inflation and the loss of what had been anticipated financing increases, space experts say this amounts to a loss for NASA science of about $3 billion over that period. For Dr. Stern, that means doing more with less.

One of the first targets in his effort to attack cost overruns was the Kepler mission, a project started in 2001 to launch a planet-hunting telescope. Because of management problems, technical issues and other difficulties, the price tag went up and the launching date slipped from the original 2006 target.

In 2006, NASA resolved itself to a 20 percent cost overrun, which raised the price to $550 million, and accepted a 2008 launching time. Then the Kepler team came to Dr. Stern last spring with a request for an additional $42 million.

“Four times they came for more money and four times we told them ‘no,’” Dr. Stern said.

After Dr. Stern’s team threatened to open the project to new bids so other researchers could take it over using the equipment that had already been built, the Kepler group came up with a solution. Among other measures, the duration of the four-year mission was cut by six months and preflight testing was scaled back.

“When they came to believe I was serious and had my boss’s backing,” Dr. Stern said, “they took it seriously. They quickly found a way to erase that bill.”

Dr. Stern, 50, came to NASA from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., where he directed the Space Science and Engineering Division. His hard line on cost overruns has been one of the first signs of change noticed by researchers and many outsiders. So far, he said, his team has rolled back cost overruns in almost a half-dozen projects, sending out word that this is now standard procedure.

“I admire what he’s doing,” said Dr. Lennard A. Fisk, professor of space science at the University of Michigan and chairman of the Space Studies Board at the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Fisk, who headed NASA’s science directorate in the 1980s, said true reform required a cultural change at the agency in how it runs programs. And a director must be consistent, he said, to convince people of the seriousness of the effort.

“In the beginning, he has to be hard-nosed with everybody,” Dr. Fisk said. “The first one he blinks on could be a problem. He has to maintain his credibility.”

Dr. Stern said that when he took the job, he told the NASA administrator, Michael D. Griffin, that he planned personnel and policy changes in his division to make the most of a stagnant budget while continuing to sponsor world-leading space science. He noted the appointment of Dr. John C. Mather, a Nobel laureate, to the vacant post of chief scientist in the directorate as a sign that science, not just launching spacecraft, would be the chief focus.

“We’re just not walking around swinging the ax,” Dr. Stern said. “We have a very new team that, I hope, is changing the way we do business.”

matthewota
2008-Apr-02, 06:19 AM
Part of the funding issues come from the fact that earlier in the program it had to many different organizations managing it.

Now that management is consolidated, and the spacecraft is reconfigured, I am certain that it will eventually be launched.

I have a particular interest in this mission as it is the first spacecraft using a Schmidt telescope optical design, which was pioneered at Palomar Observatory with the 18 inch and Oschin telescopes there.

The basic operating principle of the occultation imager is easy to grasp too, as it is similar in many respects to amateur astroimaging.

01101001
2008-Aug-12, 06:30 PM
http://discovery.nasa.gov/images/kepler.jpe (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html) http://kepler.nasa.gov/images/Kepler-logo.gif (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)

NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)


Date: April 10 [2009]
Mission: Kepler
Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station - Launch Complex 17 - Pad 17-B
Description: The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone.

Other NASA sources (like NASA Kepler Mission Profile (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=KEPLER)) list launch target as 2009 February 16, or thereabouts.

I dug up some of these links for a Q&A Kepler-status article in topic keplar mission (http://www.bautforum.com/questions-answers/77627-keplar-mission.html). They should be archived here.

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

Launch window
2008-Sep-20, 07:12 AM
How rare is Earth? (http://www.space.com/searchforlife/080918-seti-earth-rare.html)

01101001
2008-Dec-20, 03:41 AM
JPL News: NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Ready to Ship to Florida (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-240)


Engineers are getting ready to pack NASA's Kepler spacecraft into a container and ship it off to its launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The mission, scheduled to launch on March 5, will seek to answer an age-old question -- are there other Earths in space?

"Kepler is ready to begin its journey to its launch site, and ultimately to space, where it will answer a question that has been pondered by humankind at least as long ago as the ancient Greeks," said James Fanson, the project manager for the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-20, 04:11 PM
Here we go!

Romanus
2008-Dec-20, 06:04 PM
IMO, Kepler is the most interesting mission going up in the next five years. Then again, I'm exoplanet biased. :)

NEOWatcher
2008-Dec-23, 03:30 PM
It's interesting that I have problems with the JPL quote, but like the wording from the reporter better (usually, I have the opposite gripe)

...where it will answer a question...
Will it? I have a hunch it will, but is it fair to state it as an absolute?

Swift
2008-Dec-23, 04:07 PM
I'm sure it will answer a question, even if the question is "Is this the right way to look for Earth-like planets?" and the answer is "No". ;)

Launch window
2009-Feb-18, 06:58 PM
NASA will hold a media briefing on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss the upcoming Kepler mission
http://www.spaceref.com/calendar/calendar.html?pid=5308

the first spacecraft with the ability to find Earth-size planets orbiting stars like our sun in a zone where liquid water could exist. The televised briefing will take place at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. S.W., Washington.

Kepler is scheduled to launch March 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Los Angeles area media are invited to JPL to watch the briefing via satellite and ask questions. Media must RSVP in advance to JPL Media Relations at 818-354-5011. Valid media credentials are required; non-U.S. citizens must also bring passports. Reporters may also ask questions by telephone. To reserve a telephone line, contact J.D. Harrington by e-mail at j.d.harrington @ nasa.gov

Briefing participants include:

-- Jon Morse, NASA's Astrophysics Division Director, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- William Borucki, Kepler Science Principal Investigator, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
-- Jim Fanson, Kepler Project Manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
-- Debra Fischer, Professor of Astronomy, San Francisco State University, Calif.

Kepler is a NASA Discovery mission. NASA's Ames Research Center is the home organization of the Science Principal Investigator and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. Kepler mission development is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations.

ToSeek
2009-Feb-20, 06:23 PM
Kepler and the Odds (http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=6245)


The Kepler launch is coming up on March 5, marking the first time we will have the ability to find a true Earth analogue around another star; i.e., a planet of about Earth’s mass in the habitable zone where water can exist in liquid form on the surface. Which is not to say that COROT may not come close, though Kepler’s enormous star-field (100,000 targets in the Cygnus-Lyra region) and incredibly sensitive camera — a 95-megapixel array of charged coupled devices (CCDs) — is optimized for planets down to Earth size rather than larger ’super-Earths.’

01101001
2009-Feb-26, 02:36 AM
It's getting close.

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)


LAUNCH INFORMATION
Launch date/time: 2009 March 5 at 10:48 pm EST

Launch target:

2009 March 5, 1948 PST, Thursday
2009 March 5, 2248 EST, Thursday
2009 March 6, 0348 UTC, Friday

8 days to launch

(USA Daylight Time begins 2009 March 8.)

01101001
2009-Feb-27, 03:22 AM
Slipped a day, for review and analysis of hardware in common with recent Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) failure.

NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)


Date: March 6 [no earlier than]
Launch Windows: 10:49 - 10:52 p.m. and 11:13 - 11:16 p.m. EST

Tentative launch target:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

8 days (and 30 minutes) to launch

schlaugh
2009-Mar-03, 02:24 AM
A nice read and primer on Kepler, due to launch Friday evening.


In a Lonely Cosmos, a Hunt for Worlds Like Ours
(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/science/03kepl.html) By DENNIS OVERBYE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/dennis_overbye/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: March 2, 2009
Someday it might be said that this was the beginning of the end of cosmic loneliness.
Presently perched on a Delta 2 rocket at Cape Canaveral is a one-ton spacecraft called Kepler. If all goes well, the rocket will lift off about 10:50 Friday evening on a journey that will eventually propel Kepler into orbit around the Sun. There the spacecraft’s mission will be to discover Earth (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/earth_planet/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier)-like planets in Earth-like places — that is to say, in the not-too-cold, not-too-hot, Goldilocks zones around stars where liquid water can exist.
The job, in short, is to find places where life as we know it is possible.
“It’s not E.T., but it’s E.T.’s home,” said William Borucki, an astronomer at NASA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_aeronautics_and_space_administration/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, who is the lead scientist on the project.

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-03, 03:09 AM
I'm super psyched for this.


Help me spin the Earth faster so Friday gets here sooner!

01101001
2009-Mar-03, 03:30 AM
San Jose Mercury: Mountain View scientists giddy over NASA's search for faraway planets (http://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_11815817)


For at least the next 3-1/2 years, Silicon Valley will become a leading center for the search for extraterrestrial life.

The $591 million Kepler mission, with its science work directed from NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, is NASA's first mission capable of finding Earthlike planets orbiting around other stars. [...]

While the first indications of newly discovered planets should be announced before the end of this year, they will be gas giants with short orbital periods close to their stars — and therefore not candidates to harbor life.

It will be three years, enough time for Kepler to observe three planetary transits and for ground-based telescopes to confirm the find, before NASA is able to announce the discovery of other Earthlike planets — or their absence.

01101001
2009-Mar-03, 03:49 AM
Tentative launch target:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

4 days to launch

WazzuNYC
2009-Mar-03, 04:12 PM
"Scientists are giddy". Classic!!

HypothesisTesting
2009-Mar-03, 05:33 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/science/03kepl.html

"But the results will be profound either way. If Kepler doesn’t come through, that means Earth is really rare and we might be the only extant life in the universe and our loneliness is just beginning". “It would mean there might not be ‘Star Trek,’ ” Dr. Borucki said during a recent news conference.

This is a pessimistic assessment of the situation. Almost certain, there are billions of earth-like planets in Milky Way Galaxy, so they are just playing it conservative, with the 3 years before announcing results. But no doubt they'll find thousands in Kepler's field of view. BTW: if this is a half billion project, the USA taxpayers are paying, so I think they are entitled to weekly updates over the next 3 years; there shouldn't be any playing it close to the vest allowed . This is not a private company.

What is really debatable is what the Terrestrial Planet Finder will detect in the atmospheres in 2015. Chances are, they'll detect some planets with signature molecules of life in their atmospheres.

KaiYeves
2009-Mar-03, 11:42 PM
Help me spin the Earth faster so Friday gets here sooner!
You might want Superman to help with that.

01101001
2009-Mar-03, 11:51 PM
Cloned links:

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

===

NASA Kepler Mission: Goals and Objectives (http://kepler.nasa.gov/sci/basis/goals.html):


Goal 1: Determine the frequency of terrestrial and larger planets in or near the habitable zone of a wide variety of spectral types of stars.

Goal 2: Determine the distributions of sizes and orbital semi-major axes of these planets.

Goal 3: Estimate the frequency of planets and orbital distribution of planets in multiple-stellar systems.

Goal 4: Determine the distributions of semi-major axis, albedo, size, mass and density of short-period giant planets

Goal 5: Identify additional members of each photometrically discovered planetary system using complementary techniques.

Goal 6: Determine the properties of those stars that harbor planetary systems.

===

NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)


The Kepler spacecraft and its Delta II rocket have been cleared to launch into space late Friday night following a thorough review by launch managers Monday.

Liftoff is scheduled for 10:49 p.m. EST.

Tentative Launch target:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

3 days and 4 hours to launch

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-04, 03:58 AM
I was thinking about this in class today, would Kepler be able to detect a variation in front of Betelgeuse caused by and Earth sized planet? (Whether it will or won't look at Betelgeuse during it mission isn't really my interest at the moment, I'm just curious if it could.)

Launch window
2009-Mar-04, 04:17 AM
I was thinking about this in class today, would Kepler be able to detect a variation in front of Betelgeuse caused by and Earth sized planet? (Whether it will or won't look at Betelgeuse during it mission isn't really my interest at the moment, I'm just curious if it could.)
I'm just making an educated guess here but I would think Betelgeuse is just too troublesome for Kepler's photometers. Red giants like Betelgeuse start going a bit crazy and have too many variations in brightness, I think it has a period of 6 years and a period of 150 days and a period of 30 days all super imposed over each other. Anyway if there was an alien civilization out there orbiting Betelgeuse it has long since come to its end. The real search is to find an Earth like planet around a yellow dwarf star like our Sun. Btw Kepler is looking in Cygnus where there are a high number of yellow dwarf stars

01101001
2009-Mar-04, 04:20 AM
I was thinking about this in class today, would Kepler be able to detect a variation in front of Betelgeuse caused by and Earth sized planet?

Doubt it. They're looking at transits dimming the sun-like stars only on the order of 10 times more than normal variability might produce. I'd expect a giant star, having so many times the area, would also have many times the normal variability, and might swamp out the effect of a small transiting planet.

Kepler Mission FAQ (http://kepler.nasa.gov/about/faq.html)


Yes, the stars do vary in brightness all the time. In fact it is almost impossible to make a perfectly constant source of light. Fortunately, the stars we are most interested in are stars like our Sun. These are the most commonly seen dwarf stars and vary less than the change in brightness caused by an Earth-size planetary transit on the same time scale as a transit.
[...]
Planetary transits have durations of a few hours to less than a day. The measured solar variability on this time scale is 1 part 100,000 (10 ppm) as compare to an Earth-size transit of 1 part in 12,000 (80 ppm).

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-04, 05:28 AM
Right on, thanks guys.

StupendousMan
2009-Mar-04, 02:36 PM
Could Kepler detect the transit of an Earth-sized planet
in front of Betelgeuse? People have already brought up
the issue of Betelgeuse's variability. There's another
problem, too: size.

If the Earth transits the Sun, it will block a fraction of
the Sun's light (R_earth/R_sun)^2 = 8 x 10^(-5).
That's just a bit less than 1 part in 10,000. Kepler
has a good chance to detect such transits in front of
stars down to apparent mag V=12.

If the Earth transits Betelgeuse, it will block a fraction
of the light (R_earth/R_betelgeuse)^2 = 1 x 10^(-10).
That signal is far too small for Kepler to detect.

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-04, 03:38 PM
Oh thanks so much Stupendous. That's an even better answer than what they gave me (although I definitely learned something from them too). I figured that even without variations in luminosity from Betelgeuse, that size would be way too much of a factor. Thanks again!

01101001
2009-Mar-04, 06:52 PM
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)

Pre-launch briefing:


Press Conference/Science Briefing
NASA officials and members of the Kepler launch team will discuss Kepler's mission and launch readiness during a press conference beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday. Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, heads the panel that also includes Launch Director Omar Baez. A science briefing by the researchers who will analyze the Kepler's findings will follow the press conference. Both events will be televised on NASA TV.
Watch Pre-launch Press Conference on NASA TV [1000 PST; 1300 EST; 1800 UTC]

NASA TV Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html) (times EST)


March 5, Thursday
11:30 a.m. - Webcast -- "Kepler: Searching for other Earths" - KSC (Education Channel)
1 p.m. - Kepler Mission Pre-Launch Science Briefing - KSC (Public and Media Channels)

NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

Launch target:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

2 days and 9 hours to launch

HypothesisTesting
2009-Mar-04, 07:44 PM
Oh thanks so much Stupendous. That's an even better answer than what they gave me (although I definitely learned something from them too). I figured that even without variations in luminosity from Betelgeuse, that size would be way too much of a factor. Thanks again!

Yes, Stupendous gave an excellent scientific answer.

Cygnus is toward plane of Milky Way Galaxy, so chances are, they'll find a lot of stars (G type) like sun . They will be monitoring the brightness of 100,000 simultaneously. BTW: even if they find a earth size planet around a red giant, boring... Life would be unlikely to sustain on such a star system. So while they're doing it, they did it right and designed the mission to focus on sun-like stars. That way, when they discover solar systems, they will be solar system in the sense of our own, and we'll see the parallels including possibly earth-type life. They'll probably go back to those in 2015 with terrestrial planet finder and look for molecules of life in their atmospheres.

01101001
2009-Mar-06, 03:50 AM
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)


Kepler Countdown Clock

1 : 00 : 00 : 00

Launch target:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

24 hours to launch

Swift
2009-Mar-06, 08:44 PM
From NASA.gov

The Kepler spacecraft and its Delta II rocket are "go" for a launch tonight that is expected to light up the sky along Florida's Space Coast at 10:49 p.m. EST as the rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Weather predictions remain good, with a 95 percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time and a temperature of 64 degrees.


07:05:10

01101001
2009-Mar-06, 08:49 PM
NASA TV Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html) (times EST)


March 6, Friday

8:30 p.m. - Kepler Mission Launch Coverage (launch is scheduled for 10:49 p.m ET.) - KSC (All Channels)

Begins about 2 hours 20 minutes before launch.

NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

mahesh
2009-Mar-06, 09:08 PM
Bon Voyage, Dear Kepler! :clap:

This is it! It's been a long time a-coming!

You too, are our eyes to the Universe, for now. :clap:

Keep Safe. Fly Safe. Keep In Touch.

01101001
2009-Mar-06, 11:49 PM
The BA will be tweeting his own live coverage of the launch. BA Twitter (http://twitter.com/BadAstronomer)

NASA Kepler Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)

NASA Kepler Mission News: Five things about Kepler (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerf-20090305.html):


-- Kepler is the world's first mission with the ability to find true Earth analogs -- planets that orbit stars like our sun in the "habitable zone." The habitable zone is the region around a star where the temperature is just right for water -- an essential ingredient for life as we know it -- to pool on a planet's surface.

-- By the end of Kepler's three-and-one-half-year mission, it will give us a good idea of how common or rare other Earths are in our Milky Way galaxy. This will be an important step in answering the age-old question: Are we alone?

-- Kepler detects planets by looking for periodic dips in the brightness of stars. Some planets pass in front of their stars as seen from our point of view on Earth; when they do, they cause their stars to dim slightly, an event Kepler can see.

-- Kepler has the largest camera ever launched into space, a 95-megapixel array of charge-coupled devices, or CCDs, like those in everyday digital cameras.

-- Kepler's telescope is so powerful that, from its view up in space, it could detect one person in a small town turning off a porch light at night.

Launch target remains:

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

4 hours to launch

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 01:49 AM
NASA TV coverage of the Kepler launch has begun.

For me video started with a multi-minute "commercial" for the Launch Services Program (LSP) before the live coverage commenced -- and the Yahoo and high-res feeds don't work for me this time around; maybe the commercial broke them.

NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

Kepler Launch Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/launch/launch_blog.html)

2 hours to launch

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 02:04 AM
Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/launch/launch_blog.html) says weather is 100% go.


With temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60s and no winds or rain expected between now and launch time, NASA’s weather forecast remains at 100 percent chance of acceptable conditions. The launch team will conduct a readiness poll before going ahead with loading the liquid oxygen.

Tried Yahoo and high-res feeds again and they worked. But, the high-res feed was providing different (but Kepler-related) material. No LSP commercial on the second tries.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 02:49 AM
Liquid oxygen tank filled.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/316485main_ksc_030609_kep_intro-t.gif

60 minutes to launch

Procyan
2009-Mar-07, 03:26 AM
How deep into space will Kepler be able to detect Earth-like planets? Did I get the correct impression that it will only look at a small area about the size of a hand at arms length?

t minus 15 min and COUNTING!

Murphy
2009-Mar-07, 03:32 AM
How deep into space will Kepler be able to detect Earth-like planets?

I don't know the exact distance but this Image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LombergA1024.jpg on Wiki, displays the area it will look in (~3,000 LY).

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:37 AM
Emily Lakdawalla (http://twitter.com/elakdawalla) is twittering too.

Launch clock T - 4 minutes and holding. Built-in hold.

2009 March 6, 1949 PST, Friday
2009 March 6, 2249 EST, Friday
2009 March 7, 0349 UTC, Saturday

12 minutes to launch.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:44 AM
How deep into space will Kepler be able to detect Earth-like planets? Did I get the correct impression that it will only look at a small area about the size of a hand at arms length?

According to LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-kepler6-2009mar06,0,5238456.story):


Most of the stars in its survey are relatively close, from tens of light-years to 3,000 light-years away.

Hard to tell what the maximum distance might be. Not a whole lot beyond that, I'd expect.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:46 AM
4 minutes (and counting)

Bearded One
2009-Mar-07, 03:47 AM
The time to launch clock on the NASA website seems to be about three minutes off.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:48 AM
60 seconds

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:50 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/316528main_ksc_030609_kep_launch-t.gif

Liftoff

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:52 AM
T + 3 minutes

All good

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:56 AM
MECO

2nd stage ignition

still good

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 03:57 AM
Lost sight of the bird.

Video is showing my hero, Telemetry Guy, looking at monitors.

all well at 8 minutes in

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 04:00 AM
SECO 1, on schedule.

manmeetvirdi
2009-Mar-07, 04:01 AM
we have a SECO

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 04:03 AM
Link farm propagation on my mark...

Mark.

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

Link farm propagation confirmed.

Antigua has lost signal as expected. Take a break until signal is reacquired by Australia.

NASA TV is showing launch replays...

Launch Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/launch/launch_blog.html):


Kepler Coasting
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 08:04:18 PM PST

The Kepler spacecraft is 117 miles above Earth passing between tracking stations. As planned launch controllers are not receiving any direct signals from the spacecraft and rocket, but there were no signs of trouble as the spacecraft passed out of range of the instruments at a site in Antigua in the South Atlantic. The cruise phase will last about 43 minutes.

manmeetvirdi
2009-Mar-07, 04:04 AM
Los

AOS will be from Canberra tacking station Australia

Murphy
2009-Mar-07, 04:11 AM
Looks like its going good.:)

Though I can't believe that NASA still hasn't converted to SI measurements. I mean the announcer guy was using miles per hour and Nautical miles, those two systems aren't even compatible with each other!:lol:

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 04:46 AM
2nd stage 2nd ignition underway

and... SECO 2 shutdown

Coming up: 3rd stage burn

manmeetvirdi
2009-Mar-07, 04:54 AM
waiting for space craft seperation confirmation !!

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 04:56 AM
3rd stage burn complete

separation from 3 stage

manmeetvirdi
2009-Mar-07, 04:56 AM
Keppler in Orbit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 04:58 AM
Kepler Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler):


And separation successfull...i'm floating..in heliocentric orbit...

Launch Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/launch/launch_blog.html):



Spacecraft Separation!
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 08:54:54 PM PST

Cheers have gone up from launch controllers as telemetry confirms the Kepler observatory is on its own and in great health to begin its hunt for planets like Earth. The spacecraft is moving at about 6.6 miles per second, or 23,760 mph and has passed near New Guinea. It will be 950 miles above Earth in about three minutes.

manmeetvirdi
2009-Mar-07, 05:04 AM
Keppler AOS will be at Goldstone

Will then able to know health of space craft.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 05:08 AM
Launch Blog (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/launch/launch_blog.html):


Kepler On Its Own
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:00:47 PM PST

The Kepler spacecraft is orbiting by itself 65 minutes after its launch aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Kepler will go through a commissioning phase of about 60 days during which the telescope’s systems and its instrument will be put through a series of checks before it begins its science mission.

01101001
2009-Mar-07, 05:24 AM
Another stab at the distance question, still more typical and not maximum:

Kepler FAQ (http://kepler.nasa.gov/about/faq.html#anchor):


What is the typical distance to the stars where Kepler will find Earth-size planets?

The distance is determined by the apparent magnitude range of 9th to 15th for the stars that Kepler will observe, the size of the star which determines the absolute magnitude of the various stellar types being observed and the size of the planet being detected. The detection threshold of Kepler is based on observing four transits of a 1.0 diameter Earth-size planet orbiting a 12th magnitude solar-like star. Since the Sun has an absolute magnitude of 4.82 taken at the standard distance of 10 pc, (1 pc=3.26 light years), it would have to be at a distance of 273 pc to have an apparent magnitude of 12. Almost all the stars for which 1.0 Earth-size planets in one year orbits exceed the detection threshold are between 100 and 300 pc.

If a planet has a shorter orbital period producing more transits in four years, then it can be detected at a similar distance but be smaller in diameter or if it is similar in size to the Earth it can be detected orbiting a fainter star at a somewhat greater distance.

For larger planets, the same detection threshold allows for fainter stars at greater distances. For planets 1.26 times the diameter of the Earth (about two Earth masses), the typical distance is about 300-400 pc with about half as many in the 200-300 pc range and about half as many again in the 400-500 pc range. For planets 1.71 times the diameter of the Earth (about five Earth masses), the typical distance is about 400-800 pc. Again this is based on planets in a one-year orbit.

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-07, 06:10 AM
How will we know that the planets we're looking for will be in the habitable zone? Is it because the search is restricted in such away so as to look for planets almost exactly like Earth (yellow sun, 1 year period) or will they be able to determine through some mathematics wizardry?

Graybeard6
2009-Mar-07, 06:51 AM
Damn! All I had to do was walk out my front door to see the launch, and I fell asleep and missed it. Old age sucks!

slang
2009-Mar-07, 10:21 AM
Link farm propagation confirmed.

:)

Congrats Kepler, clear skies!

Procyan
2009-Mar-07, 10:27 AM
How will we know that the planets we're looking for will be in the habitable zone? Is it because the search is restricted in such away so as to look for planets almost exactly like Earth (yellow sun, 1 year period) or will they be able to determine through some mathematics wizardry?

I know this one...we'll use Kepler's laws and the star-type. The frequency of transits will provide a measure of orbital velocity. Thats why the mission has to run 3 years, ie to get detection and 2 confirmations of transits of earthlike planets at 1 AU around sunlike stars. in the first years we will only confirm for short period planets so we'll hear about them first. By 2015 we will know about a whole raft of solar systems and their scales.

If we know the period and the mass of the star then we can deduce the star-planet separation thanks to Johannes (and Tycho!). Cool stars have a tight, small zone. If it is a big hot star, then the habitable zone is further out. Goldilocks stars have a zone thats just right (read earth-sun-like). Anyway I think that is the method.

For the first time we are going to get a good idea of the population of rocky planets in our 'hood. That's why i was asking about the depth of the sample. Our models are going to get a lot more useful. Once we know this, we can extrapolate to the whole galaxy. Galaxies? Oh, I just wet myself.

I wager we find 1000 Rocky planets in habitable zones among the 100,000 stars tested. Wouldn't it be a blast to coordinate SETI with Kepler? Do radio telescopes have the required level of resolution? Calling Dr's Tarter, Dr. Shostak, Dr. Drake...

mahesh
2009-Mar-07, 10:37 AM
Good Morning ye all! And Good Morning Kepler!

What a beautiful launch! :clap:
here's BBC's info, two minutes forty five

....http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7926277.stm

haven't had a chance to go to the farm yet, 01101001....

bunker9603
2009-Mar-07, 03:21 PM
I wager we find 1000 Rocky planets in habitable zones among the 100,000 stars tested. Wouldn't it be a blast to coordinate SETI with Kepler? Do radio telescopes have the required level of resolution? Calling Dr's Tarter, Dr. Shostak, Dr. Drake...

That is a good suggestion. I wonder if SETI has plans to do just that?

Horror Vacui
2009-Mar-07, 06:48 PM
Thanks Procyan. That's pretty much what I figured. Thanks to Kepler and Brahe, the only input that THIS Kepler really needs is time (as I'm sure we've studied the the stars in Kepler's mission area well enough that we have any other data we'd need for such calculations). I don't know that you can say we'll know so much by 2015 though, Kepler's mission is only three and a half years. If it lasts longer than its supposed to, we may be looking for giant terrestrial planets by 2015.

KaiYeves
2009-Mar-07, 09:11 PM
Wooo! It's up there! And nothing's going to ever be the same! (I hope.)

Procyan
2009-Mar-07, 11:29 PM
As 01101001 explained, the sample will extend out as much as 800 pc. To me it is like a core sample. Who knows what we will learn about the local distributions, but learn we shall. I agree KaiYeves, perhaps this mission will rank with COBE and Hubble.

I think the MW is about 150 k ly in diameter. Is it thick enough and is Sol embedded deeply enough that the sight direction is moot? Could Kepler look in any direction and expect to get a representative sample over those 800 pc?

Oh right, earlier I said Kepler would log 2 confirmations but the correct number is 3 as 01101001 pointed out.

Also, I forgot to mention I tried to open the SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds page but got an error, anyone else have better luck?

01101001
2009-Mar-08, 01:07 AM
Also, I forgot to mention I tried to open the SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds page but got an error, anyone else have better luck?

Looks like they reorganzed their web pages. Try The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673).


What will Kepler find? That's the exciting part, because we don't know. Borucki has estimated that if Earth-sized planets are common, the mission will uncover roughly 50 of them in orbits comparable to our own. Thousands of closer-in and/or larger planets could be found. Even bulky moons around some of the Jupiter-sized planets discovered with the wobble technique might block enough starlight to make their presence known. All such worlds are potential abodes for life.

sohh_fly
2009-Mar-08, 03:31 AM
clear skies and smooth sailing Keplar,It's your time,Do your thing.

Don Alexander
2009-Mar-08, 07:10 PM
Yay for Kepler!!

I watched the launch live on NASA TV, staid up all night for it.

I'm hoping the discover some great stuff!!

Though let's see if CoRoT gets there faster...

By the way, how are they going to confirm a "true Earth" - that's way below the detection threshhold of even HARPS... They will need 30m class telescopes to confirm such a planet with radial velocity measurements.

trinitree88
2009-Mar-08, 07:42 PM
I know this one...we'll use Kepler's laws and the star-type. The frequency of transits will provide a measure of orbital velocity. Thats why the mission has to run 3 years, ie to get detection and 2 confirmations of transits of earthlike planets at 1 AU around sunlike stars. in the first years we will only confirm for short period planets so we'll hear about them first. By 2015 we will know about a whole raft of solar systems and their scales.

If we know the period and the mass of the star then we can deduce the star-planet separation thanks to Johannes (and Tycho!). Cool stars have a tight, small zone. If it is a big hot star, then the habitable zone is further out. Goldilocks stars have a zone thats just right (read earth-sun-like). Anyway I think that is the method.

For the first time we are going to get a good idea of the population of rocky planets in our 'hood. That's why i was asking about the depth of the sample. Our models are going to get a lot more useful. Once we know this, we can extrapolate to the whole galaxy. Galaxies? Oh, I just wet myself.

I wager we find 1000 Rocky planets in habitable zones among the 100,000 stars tested. Wouldn't it be a blast to coordinate SETI with Kepler? Do radio telescopes have the required level of resolution? Calling Dr's Tarter, Dr. Shostak, Dr. Drake...

Procyan. :hand:In this neck of the woods....when you say "I'll wager."..you put your money where your mouth is...and own up to the bet. What's the wager?:whistle: (usually a hot fudge sundae, cold beer, ...though I've lost at least one dinner in recent years...:lol:)..pete

Procyan
2009-Mar-09, 02:07 AM
I take your point Trin, I'll put up General Motors and my copy of Ptolemy, Copernicus and Kepler against a text of similar grandeur. Ships better than a sundae too.

Perhaps i should defend my reasoning...according to the Kepler FAQ a predicted 0.5% of the stars will be in the correct plane for detection. If every sun-like star had one earthlike planet at 1 AU thats 500 out of the 100,000. But our solar system has 3 rocky planets in the zone (right?). So I split the difference and doubled the prediction. Also, my gut says the 100K predicted sample size is scientific lowballing on NASA's part.

Of course a lot of those stars are going to be binaries and theory says they are much less likely to have planets in the zone. AND, there are usually big flaws in my reasonings on matters astronomical. But one thing is for sure, i'm an optimist and hang it all I WANT there to be as many soggy petri dishes mouldering away out there as there can possibly be. So make that 1500 and I'll put up my "2nd, 3rd and 4th rocks from the sun" DVD's.

Also, I wondered about optical seti and Kepler. Over what range of wavelengths is Kepler most sensitive? Is Kepler a good detector for laser signals?

This is such a novel experiment, we should expect something novel to drop out. will the raw data be made available? CoSeti@home anyone?

OK, how long has it been since launch, any transits yet?

01101001
2009-Mar-09, 06:42 AM
OK, how long has it been since launch, any transits yet?

No, but Kepler is starting to do things, initial baby steps to preparing to see transits eventually.

NASAKepler Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler):


About to send first log files. Increasing telecom rate.
about 4 hours ago from twhirl
Initial telemetry I send down: stable and power positive. reaction wheels slowly spinning. Solar panel pointed toward the sun.
about 4 hours ago from twhirl
Checking back in. All is well.
about 4 hours ago from twhirl

KaiYeves
2009-Mar-09, 10:30 PM
SECO is when two of the mini-engine things burn out and fall off, right?

01101001
2009-Mar-09, 11:13 PM
SECO is when two of the mini-engine things burn out and fall off, right?

Second-stage Engine Cut-Off

Separation comes often thereafter -- if the engine doesn't need to do further burns. On this launch there was a SECO 1 and a SECO 2.

You'll hear MECO, Main Engine Cut-Off, and TECO, Third-stage Engine Cut-Off, if there are enough stages.

Probably what you call the mini-engines are small solid strap-on boosters on this flight, initially six, and then in the air three more were ignited.

Launch events, from ULA Kepler Mission (http://www.ulalaunch.com/launch/Kepler/FINAL_MOB_Kepler.pdf) (3.5 megabyte PDF):


Liftoff
Mach 1
Maximum Dynamic Pressure
Six Solid Motors Burnout
Three Solid Motors Ignition
Jettison Three Solid Motors
Jettison Three Solid Motors
Three Solid Motors Burnout
Jettison Three Solid Motors
Main Engine Cutoff (MECO)
Vernier Engine Cutoff (VECO)
First- and Second-Stage Separation
Second-Stage Ignition
Jettison Fairing
First Cutoff - Second Stage (SECO 1)
Begin Reorientation Maneuver
End Reorientation Maneuver
Begin BBQ Maneuver
End BBQ Maneuver
Begin Reorientation Maneuver
End Reorientation Maneuver
Second-Stage Restart Ignition
Second Cutoff - Second Stage (SECO 2)
Begin Reorientation Maneuver
End Reorientation Maneuver
Third-Stage Spin-up
Second- and Third-Stage Separation
Third-Stage Ignition - NCS Enable
Third-Stage Burnout (TECO)
Disable NCS – Initiate Yo-Yo Despin
SC Separation
Targeting Interface Point

01101001
2009-Mar-10, 05:12 PM
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)


Turned on Photometer for the first time. Planning to take lots of photometer initiation data overnight.
about 11 hours ago from twhirl
[...]
Just passed Moon's orbit on my way out of the Earth-Moon system. Distance from Earth: 384,400 km and counting. [...]
7:35 AM Mar 9th from twhirl

Amber Robot
2009-Mar-10, 05:40 PM
Also, I wondered about optical seti and Kepler. Over what range of wavelengths is Kepler most sensitive? Is Kepler a good detector for laser signals?

I took a quick look at one paper, but I couldn't find an exact answer. But my best guess is that because they are looking for pure brightness variations they are not using any filters, just taking the entire CCD bandpass response. It's possible they are using a shortpass filter though, so as to prevent fringing on the CCD from the near-IR.

01101001
2009-Mar-11, 11:09 PM
Marginally apropos to Kepler:

Space.com: NASA Won't Commit to 'Stephen Colbert' Space Module Yet (http://www.space.com/entertainment/090311-colbert-space-race.html)

Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert interviewed NASA's Bill Gerstenmaier.


Colbert [...] brought up the recent launch of NASA's Kepler space telescope.

"Folks, it is crucial that America leads way in finding habitable planets," Colbert noted. "Personally, I cannot wait to taste Ewok."

Edit: Oh, yeah, the links...


NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

01101001
2009-Mar-13, 03:32 AM
Recommended by NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler):

Spectacular mosaic image of Kepler launch (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/media/images/Mozaic.jpg) (spot the Big Dipper!)

Launch window
2009-Mar-14, 03:01 AM
youtubed HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65gbieOoD74
Mission - Overview

01101001
2009-Mar-17, 03:21 AM
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)


03.16.09 -- Kepler is now more than 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) from Earth, drifting away at the rate of about 1 kilometer per second.

NASA Kepler Mission Manager Update (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20090316.html)


The past few days have been spent collecting data from the focal-plane array on Kepler's science instrument, the photometer, at various sun angles and temperatures as part of the calibration process. The focal-plane array, which contains 42 charge-coupled devices like those in your digital camera, is where light from the telescope is focused.

Each data set is sent down to Earth, or downlinked, over the Ka-band radio at a telemetry rate of 3.44 million bits per second to the 34-meter antennas of the Deep Space Network [...]

Sporally
2009-Mar-17, 06:34 PM
So Kepler is in 'the air'. I have a couple of question about its operation though.

1) Is Kepler currently running tests or is it actually up and running, doing scientific studies already?

2) I know that a planet has to do three orbits before we can say it's a planet, but will it be published when they see the second orbit of the planet, saying 'A possible planet has been found and will be confirmed in another orbit's time'?

3) I know a planet has to do three orbits, but when a group of astronomers see the orbit the third time, how long will it take for the data to be processed and finally published? Is it immidiately (or within a week or so) or will it take months or even years?

4) What is the shortest period for a planet that is within the habital zone? Consider a small star orbited by a planet in the habital zone, say 3 times the period and add the number of days from question 3 (and question 1 if it is not already running) - when can we get the first result for a planet in the habital zone if we found it's first passing of the sun on the very first day for instance?

Hope you get me, or else please say so and i will try and explain it in better details:)

01101001
2009-Mar-17, 07:15 PM
1) Is Kepler currently running tests or is it actually up and running, doing scientific studies already?

Plan was 60 days of commissioning, turning stuff on, testing, calibrating it, before work begins.


2) I know that a planet has to do three orbits before we can say it's a planet, but will it be published when they see the second orbit of the planet, saying 'A possible planet has been found and will be confirmed in another orbit's time'?

Don't know plans. That seems unwise to publish the maybes. I'd expect they would wait to be confident.

For other questions, I don't know, nor haven't seen, details of their publication criteria and desired schedule.

Maybe Google scholar applied to the Principal Investigator (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=borucki%20kepler&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=ws) will yield a paper that tips their hand regarding plans.

Edit: NASA Kepler: Expected results (http://kepler.nasa.gov/sci/basis/results.html) has loose timeframes:


The first results come in just a few months when the giant inner planets are seen, those with orbital periods of only a few days.
Objects that are in Mercury-like orbits of a few months are detected within the first year.
Earth-size planets in Earth-like orbits require nearly the full lifetime of the four year mission, although in some cases three transits are seen in just a little more than two years.

Other results that require the full four years of data are:
Planets as small as Mercury in short period orbits, which utilizes the addition of a dozens or more transits to be detectable; and
The detection of giant-inner planets that do not transit the star but do periodically modulate the apparent brightness due to reflected light from the planet.


Edit: KEPLER MISSION: Design, Expected Science Results, Opportunities to Participate (http://kepler.nasa.gov/pdf_files/Borucki_STScI_2005.pdf) (PDF) has some expected numbers and timeframes, estimates, and lists some validation criteria.


Public release of
false positives would ultimately discredit any mission results. Therefore to be considered a validated planet,
the detection must meet several requirements:

01101001
2009-Mar-19, 05:40 PM
Semi-interesting details of some of the calibration going on during commissioning:

Mission Manager Update (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20090318.html)


Engineers are continuing the process of calibrating Kepler's photometer in the dark, with its dust cover on. Because the instrument's charge-coupled device (CCD) focal plane (the area where light from the telescope will be focused) is so large, it does not have a built in shutter to keep light out. Kepler's focal plane is one square-foot, while the focal plane in your digital camera is the size of a fingernail.

Dark calibration data are being taken at various sun angles, the first three of which are now complete. The forth attitude is designed to provide the darkest background and will point the telescope as far away from the sun as possible while maintaining enough sunlight on the solar panels to power Kepler's electrical systems. Once these data are analyzed and the calibration products are complete, a series of reviews will be convened to obtain approval to release the cover, which will separate from the spacecraft and follow its own orbit around the sun.

01101001
2009-Mar-23, 02:30 AM
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)


Geocentric distance now 1,677,000 km (circa 1.04 million miles) and drifting away from Earth at 0.987 km/s. Round trip light time 11.2 s.
22 minutes ago from twhirl

Edit: And I just remembered my name is on board. See Topic: Send Your Name into Space with the Kepler Mission (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/73693-send-your-name-into-space-kepler-mission.html). I expect many of you can say the same.

DarkHorse220
2009-Mar-23, 03:55 AM
As exciting as it is to get this thing in the air, it's frustrating in it's own way to have to wait so long for the results. Not that I can complain, though: the exciting part is the key bit.

Sporally
2009-Mar-23, 09:58 AM
I can only agree with you DarkHorse220.

@ 01101001
Never heard about the possibility to submit your name to this mission. Been on the MRO though AFAIK. Unless it is a very long time ago you could submit your name to the Kepler mission and i have forgot about it. They should install a DVD writer on all future spacecrafts so they can upload orders to write my name on the DVD:) (or how are the names stored?).

01101001
2009-Mar-23, 11:59 AM
Never heard about the possibility to submit your name to this mission. Been on the MRO though AFAIK. Unless it is a very long time ago you could submit your name to the Kepler mission and i have forgot about it.

It opened about 10 months ago, with the deadline in last November, I think. Here are pictures of the installation of the DVD at Ball Aerospace: Kepler Gallery 14 (http://www.ballaerospace.com/gallery/kepler/gallery14.htm).

Sporally
2009-Mar-23, 12:06 PM
Yeah well, i might be on that DVD aswell, not really sure, but this is one of my favorites missions in this decade, so i would definately have added my name if i heard about it in time - back my lack of skill in remembering stuff i can't say for sure if i did it or not:lol:

KaiYeves
2009-Mar-23, 10:02 PM
As exciting as it is to get this thing in the air, it's frustrating in it's own way to have to wait so long for the results. Not that I can complain, though: the exciting part is the key bit.

It's the sort of thing you're supposed to forget about but remember and check on every now and then, just to get you through the day.

Sporally
2009-Mar-23, 10:20 PM
If only we could get an estimate on the dates of the mission's milestones...

Procyan
2009-Mar-24, 04:55 AM
http://www.opennasa.com/2009/03/08/the-benac-orbit-keplers-follow-on/

Could someone please explain what this video depicts? I think it is a proposal to make a parabolic reflector with a focal length equal to geostationary position over a crater on an asteroid or Ceres? or something pretty cool anyway.**

EDIT**Nevermind, it was an idea for a targeted project to follow up Kepler results, but not budgeted or even contemplated by official NASA. Converting Ceres into a listening post...Maybe someday.

Sporally
2009-Mar-29, 10:15 AM
Yes, it is said what it is about in the very first line:)

"Once Kepler finds the other Earths, it time to listen to their radio stations!"

However, the writing for this video doesn't really sound that professinal and i've never heard of it, so guess that isn't something on the drawing board - however, always nice to know that some people have ideas, some of them are good enough so that i want to support the idea if he went to NASA with the idea...

ToSeek
2009-Mar-30, 04:47 PM
Plan was 60 days of commissioning, turning stuff on, testing, calibrating it, before work begins.


It's in the hands of the engineers right now. After the checkout, it will be given over to the scientists (though it's actually not that abrupt a transition, and of course the engineers remain involved in the operation of the spacecraft, just in more of a how-to-do capacity rather than a what-to-do). If it were a mission based on single observations, like your usual space telescope, it wouldn't be unreasonable to see some early image releases if they come up with something good while checking out the instruments against test targets. I'm not sure how this would work for Kepler, though.

Procyan
2009-Apr-08, 04:03 AM
I stumbled across this blog:

http://beyondthecradle.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/kepler-mission-pre-prima-lux-update-with-jon-jenkins/#more-431

Sounds like Dust Cover Eject is nigh!

01101001
2009-Apr-08, 05:05 AM
NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)


[Image] Kepler Dust Cover Being Ejected
2009 April 7. The dust cover on NASA's Kepler spacecraft is scheduled to be ejected tonight, no earlier than 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time, with a backup opportunity tomorrow evening.

This artist's animation illustrates how the dust cover on NASA's Kepler telescope will be ejected. Engineers will send a command up to the space telescope to pass an electrical current through a "burn wire." The burn wire will break and a latch holding the cover closed will be released. The spring-loaded cover will swing open on a fly-away hinge, before drifting away from the spacecraft and entering its own orbit around the sun.

Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html):


Dust Cover Jettisoned From NASA's Kepler Telescope
04.07.09 -- Engineers have successfully ejected the dust cover from NASA's Kepler telescope, a spaceborne mission soon to begin searching for worlds like Earth.

Sporally
2009-Apr-11, 10:36 AM
To me it still seems relatively far into the future before the results are released to the public, but let's stay happy about the progress (and the lack of problems) so far:)

ToSeek
2009-Apr-16, 06:14 PM
NASA press release just issued:


NASA's Kepler Captures First Views of Planet-Hunting Territory

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Kepler mission has taken its first images of the star-rich sky where it will soon begin hunting for planets like Earth.

The new "first light" images show the mission's target patch of sky, a vast starry field in the Cygnus-Lyra region of our Milky Way galaxy. One image shows millions of stars in Kepler's full field of view, while two others zoom in on portions of the larger region. The images can be seen online at:


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/20090416.html


"Kepler's first glimpse of the sky is awe-inspiring," said Lia LaPiana, Kepler's program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "To be able to see millions of stars in a single snapshot is simply breathtaking."

One new image from Kepler shows its entire field of view -- a 100-square-degree portion of the sky, equivalent to two side-by-side dips of the Big Dipper. The regions contain an estimated 14 millions stars, more than 100,000 of which were selected as ideal candidates for planet hunting.

Two other views focus on just one-thousandth of the full field of view. In one image, a cluster of stars located about 13,000 light-years from Earth, called NGC 6791, can be seen in the lower left corner. The other image zooms in on a region containing a star, called Tres-2, with a known Jupiter-like planet orbiting every 2.5 days.

"It's thrilling to see this treasure trove of stars," said William Borucki, science principal investigator for Kepler at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. "We expect to find hundreds of planets circling those stars, and for the first time, we can look for Earth-size planets in the habitable zones around other stars like the sun."

Kepler will spend the next three-and-a-half years searching more than 100,000 pre-selected stars for signs of planets. It is expected to find a variety of worlds, from large, gaseous ones, to rocky ones as small as Earth. The mission is the first with the ability to find planets like ours -- small, rocky planets orbiting sun-like stars in the habitable zone, where temperatures are right for possible lakes and oceans of water.

To find the planets, Kepler will stare at one large expanse of sky for the duration of its lifetime, looking for periodic dips in starlight that occur as planets circle in front of their stars and partially block the light. Its 95-megapixel camera, the largest ever launched into space, can detect tiny changes in a star's brightness of only 20 parts per million. Images from the camera are intentionally blurred to minimize the number of bright stars that saturate the detectors. While some of the slightly saturated stars are candidates for planet searches, heavily saturated stars are not.

"Everything about Kepler has been optimized to find Earth-size planets," said James Fanson, Kepler's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Our images are road maps that will allow us, in a few years, to point to a star and say a world like ours is there."

Scientists and engineers will spend the next few weeks calibrating Kepler's science instrument, the photometer, and adjusting the telescope's alignment to achieve the best focus. Once these steps are complete, the planet hunt will begin.

"We've spent years designing this mission, so actually being able to see through its eyes is tremendously exciting," said Eric Bachtell, the lead Kepler systems engineer at Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Bachtell has been working on the design, development and testing of Kepler for nine years.

Kepler is a NASA Discovery mission. Ames is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. JPL manages the Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations.

For images, animations and more information about the Kepler mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/kepler



http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/329981main_fullFFINoCalloutsHot300-226.jpg

01101001
2009-Apr-16, 07:08 PM
It's full of stars!

KaiYeves
2009-Apr-16, 07:24 PM
It's full of stars!
And planets! (I hope)

A.DIM
2009-Apr-16, 07:55 PM
And planets! (I hope)

If laws of physics and chemistry are everywhere the same in the galaxy, let alone the universe, there are no doubt planets in those pictures. But I am like you, full of hope they'll find earth-like planets, which again, supposing similar ingredients in similar environments produce similar results, seems more than likely.

Most exciting!

Sporally
2009-Apr-20, 04:45 PM
Why are all of Kepler's boxes on the camera split into two rectangles in all the images in the link ToSeek provided?

01101001
2009-Apr-20, 05:04 PM
Why are all of Kepler's boxes on the camera split into two rectangles in all the images in the link ToSeek provided?

Check out the photometer pictured at: Photometer and Spacecraft (http://kepler.nasa.gov/sci/design/spacecraft.html)

Eh, it's small and cool. I'll in-line it:

http://kepler.nasa.gov/media/images/07-3348d-KeplerCCDsSmall.jpg (http://kepler.nasa.gov/sci/design/spacecraft.html)

I expect there's some overlap in the image panes and they could probably release a unified image mosaic if they took the extra time. They were probably in a rush to show off their pretty picture(s).

Edit: The Ball Aerospace Kepler Gallery (http://www.ballaerospace.com/gallery/kepler/) has some cool pictures of the individual pane elements, detector chip assemblies, being built, too.

NEOWatcher
2009-Apr-20, 05:54 PM
I expect there's some overlap in the image panes and they could probably release a unified image mosaic if they took the extra time. They were probably in a rush to show off their pretty picture(s).
I'm not sure, I did some searching last week with the same question. Somewhere they said that the grid is oriented to mask out some of the brighter stars. Unfortunately; I can't recall where I saw that.

djellison
2009-Apr-20, 06:49 PM
I expect there's some overlap in the image panes and they could probably release a unified image mosaic if they took the extra time. They were probably in a rush to show off their pretty picture(s).

Nope. As this image shows :
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/images/kepler/ccds.jpg

The 42 CCD's are essentially in pairs, with a small gap between each in the pair...and then these pairs are placed with gaps between them. Kepler isn't in the pretty picture business. It's in the photometry business. The brightest stars in the field are, quite cunningly, being placed right on the seams between CCD's - so as not to saturate them. That image as released so far, is basically each CCD stitched to be as spacially correct as it can be, given the gaps between CCD's.

Doug

Sporally
2009-Apr-20, 07:11 PM
Nope. As this image shows :
[url]The brightest stars in the field are, quite cunningly, being placed right on the seams between CCD's - so as not to saturate them.
I don't get this. By deploying Kepler into space, the brightest stars doesn't just line up at the seams of the CCDs. Has the seams of the CCDs been made just to hide a handful of the brightest stars? Guess it is only a few stars, since i guess it can't be this coincidentially that more than a few are lines up just between the CCDs.

01101001
2009-Apr-20, 07:13 PM
The 42 CCD's are essentially in pairs, with a small gap between each in the pair...and then these pairs are placed with gaps between them. Kepler isn't in the pretty picture business.

Just our luck: the really cool planets will fall through the cracks.

True that about the purpose not being pretty pictures. I just thought it could cough up some accidental art. It won't be the sort I fantasized though.

The images are deliberately defocused, anyway, so it will always be stuck doing slightly impressionistic work. It would still look good on a wall.

Anyone know the word for a 26-part triptych?

Links to stuff:

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

djellison
2009-Apr-20, 07:37 PM
I don't get this. By deploying Kepler into space, the brightest stars doesn't just line up at the seams of the CCDs. Has the seams of the CCDs been made just to hide a handful of the brightest stars? Guess it is only a few stars, since i guess it can't be this coincidentially that more than a few are lines up just between the CCDs.

They specifically chose one part of the sky some years ago. Then they specifically lined up the CCD footprint in that bit of sky to get rid of the overly bright stars. It's not a coincidence, it's a feature of the camera design, and the mission design.

Sporally
2009-Apr-20, 08:09 PM
Surpricing - just doesn't look like lines made out of how nature is set up. But well, so didn't the pyramids:)

slang
2009-Apr-20, 11:58 PM
They specifically chose one part of the sky some years ago. Then they specifically lined up the CCD footprint in that bit of sky to get rid of the overly bright stars. It's not a coincidence, it's a feature of the camera design, and the mission design.

That will put some serious limits on extended mission scenarios that include looking in other directions for a while. I bet someone already did some work to find alternate vectors. Then again, losing perhaps 1 CCD to a badly aligned star might not be so bad for a follow up mission.

djellison
2009-Apr-21, 07:04 AM
During pre launch press confs - they mentioned that towards the end of the mission (as downlink volume decreases) they would simply observe fewer stars in the same FOV. I would imagine any mission extension would involve continuing to look at the same stars. Imagine a 'big-Mars' like planet - 2 year orbit. If we want to verify it (with three transitions) then we need to be looking at that start for anything between 6 and 8 years.

Sporally
2009-Apr-22, 10:05 AM
I don't expect Kepler to find all stars large enough for it to find within its mission durability. Extending the mission with the same FOV shouldn't really decrease the number of interesting exoplanet findings compared to if Kepler was turned / moved i suspect.

djellison
2009-Apr-22, 10:35 AM
Extending the mission with the same FOV shouldn't really decrease the number of interesting exoplanet findings compared to if Kepler was turned / moved i suspect.

No - it will increase the number. Kepler was designed and built specifically to look at this patch of sky. They've got several hundred thousand stars to look at. The longer you look at them, the better your data set. I don't think they'll be pointing elsewhere for an extended mission.

Sporally
2009-Apr-22, 06:53 PM
I guess you mean the longer you look the more planets with a long orbit you will find. But i guess we would still find more if we turned or moved it - however, that wouldn't be better though, since it would be those with very small orbits.

Amber Robot
2009-Apr-22, 07:58 PM
I guess you mean the longer you look the more planets with a long orbit you will find. But i guess we would still find more if we turned or moved it - however, that wouldn't be better though, since it would be those with very small orbits.

I'm guessing it is more scientifically interesting to find planets with a variety of orbital periods than just more short period orbiters.

Sporally
2009-Apr-22, 08:06 PM
Yes, i am aware of that, i just can't entirely agree with djellison that it would increase the number of exoplanets - but no doubt it will make the results more interesting with exoplanets with more interesting orbits.

ToSeek
2009-Apr-23, 03:01 PM
Anyone know the word for a 26-part triptych?



icosahexaptych.

ToSeek
2009-Apr-23, 03:04 PM
I'm guessing it is more scientifically interesting to find planets with a variety of orbital periods than just more short period orbiters.

There are lots of instruments that can find planets with short-period orbits, but only Kepler is designed to find planets with long-period orbits. It should stick with what it's made for.

djellison
2009-Apr-23, 06:14 PM
Exactly. Imagine a 3 year primary mission....that JUST misses something that orbits in 37 months.

centsworth_II
2009-Apr-24, 07:03 AM
I'm guessing it is more scientifically interesting to find planets with a variety of orbital periods than just more short period orbiters.
Right. It's like the exoplanet version of the Hubble Deep Field: The longer you stare at a patch of sky, the deeper you see into the range of extrasolar planets located there. In this case, the "deepness" does not refer to distance/brightness, but rather orbital period.

Sporally
2009-Apr-26, 03:04 PM
icosahexaptych.
'Icosa...' - what does this part of the word mean? I understand the rest. Is it twenty? I can't even remember which language is used for this.

Amber Robot
2009-Apr-26, 03:13 PM
'Icosa...' - what does this part of the word mean? I understand the rest. Is it twenty? I can't even remember which language is used for this.

Well, an icosahedron is a twenty-sided solid, if that helps at all.

Sporally
2009-Apr-26, 03:16 PM
OK, so 'Icosa...' is actually twenty. Now what language is this btw?

centsworth_II
2009-Apr-26, 04:41 PM
Etymology

Ancient Greek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_language) εἰκοσα- (http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=%CE%B5%E1%BC%B0%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%83% CE%B1-&action=edit&redlink=1) (īcosa-) from εἴκοσι (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B5%E1%BC%B4%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%B9) (īcosi, twenty (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/twenty)).

(http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/icosa-)
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/icosa-

01101001
2009-Apr-26, 04:45 PM
It's too late, but I was clearly stabbing the air when I picked 26 parts for the multi-part "triptych". It's 42 elements, 21 pairs.

Let the Greek geeking begin anew.

01101001
2009-May-04, 05:05 AM
We're getting close to start of science phase, May 7.

NASA Kepler Mission News (http://kepler.nasa.gov/about/news.html) has a May 1 mission manager update report:


Kepler's calibration data collection is drawing to a close. Several hundred data sets have been acquired to characterize and map the optical and noise performance of the telescope and the electronics for the focal plane array (the area where light is focused). The data sets are now being analyzed on the ground.

Sporally
2009-May-05, 08:36 AM
So they have collected the calibration data and just need one week to analyse it, which is only two weeks from now.

So with a 4 day year orbit for an exoplanet, that'll be 12 days of science before we have the first exoplanet, which will happend on the 19. May:lol:

I was wondering. If Kepler has it eye on the same spot all the time, would that mean that, say for all 30 day orbiting exoplanets we, the sciencetists will have reliable scientific data on all these exoplanets on science day 90? I know they probably won't announce it the same day, but THEY will know about all 30 day oribiting exoplanet on the 90. day. This will more or less allow us to calculate on which day a red dwarf star with an exoplanet orbiting in the green zone will be discovered - you could actually set up a mathematical formula for this: 3x...:lol:

ToSeek
2009-May-13, 07:59 PM
And we're off:


Kepler Mission Status Report May 13, 2009

Let the Planet Hunt Begin

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has begun its search for other Earth-like worlds. The mission, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 6, will spend the next three-and-a-half years staring at more than 100,000 stars for telltale signs of planets. Kepler has the unique ability to find planets as small as Earth that orbit sun-like stars at distances where temperatures are right for possible lakes and oceans.

"Now the fun begins," said William Borucki, Kepler science principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "We are all really excited to start sorting through the data and discovering the planets."

Scientists and engineers have spent the last two months checking out and calibrating the Kepler spacecraft. Data have been collected to characterize the imaging performance as well as the noise level in the measurement electronics. The scientists have constructed the list of targets for the start of the planet search, and this information has been loaded onto the spacecraft.

"If Kepler got into a staring contest, it would win," said James Fanson, Kepler project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The spacecraft is ready to stare intently at the same stars for several years so that it can precisely measure the slightest changes in their brightness caused by planets." Kepler will hunt for planets by looking for periodic dips in the brightness of stars -- events that occur when orbiting planets cross in front of their stars and partially block the light.

The mission's first finds are expected to be large, gas planets situated close to their stars. Such discoveries could be announced as early as next year.

Kepler is a NASA Discovery mission. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is the home organization of the science principal investigator, and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. JPL manages the Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations.

For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/kepler and http://www.kepler.nasa.gov .

KaiYeves
2009-May-13, 09:49 PM
"if kepler got into a staring contest, it would win,"
:lol:

01101001
2009-May-16, 07:47 AM
NASA Kepler Mission News: May 14 Mission Manager Update (http://kepler.nasa.gov/about/news.html):


The first of the science data are scheduled to be sent down to Earth on June 18, at which point analysis of the data by the science team will commence. While it will take years to discover any Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars (regions where temperatures are right for liquid water), we expect to confirm fairly quickly the three planets known to transit, or cross in front of, their stars in the Kepler field of view. In the months ahead, we expect to begin detecting large planets that orbit their stars closely.

Sporally
2009-May-17, 09:02 PM
The scientists have constructed the list of targets for the start of the planet search, and this information has been loaded onto the spacecraft.
Wasn't it suppose to be looking at all the stars in the FOW at the same time? I did i misunderstand this? And is it even technological possible to stare at the entire FOW of this size?

01101001
2009-May-17, 09:35 PM
University of Aarhus: Number of targets and target selection for Kepler Asteroseismology (http://astro.phys.au.dk/KASC/DASC_KASOC_0006_8.pdf) (PDF)


Target selection before launch:
Before launch and before uploading the first set of targets we select a number of Survey targets that will be
observed during the first 3 x 90 days. A limited number of targets will be selected as Specific targets at this
stage. The shortest period that a given star can be observed is 30 days.

I know little of astroseismology, but I expect it is a high-bandwidth business. There are a limited number of target buffers that can be used for these observations, each used for tracking (probably rapid) changes in one star's behavior over time. "Staring" is not so much the technique for seeing changes at these sorts of frequencies.

Edit: Appparently, astroseismology isn't the only discipline that needs targeted observation.

KEPLER MISSION: Design, Expected Science Results, Opportunities to Participate (http://kepler.nasa.gov/pdf_files/Borucki_STScI_2005.pdf) (PDF)


The GO option should accommodate those investigators who wish to make astrophysical measurements of
the many different types of objects in the Kepler FOV. Generally, these targets will be different than those
chosen for the transit search. Examples include variable stars of all types, distribution and time variation of
zodiacal light, and extragalactic objects. It is expected that a total of about 3000 additional targets at any
one time will be available and that these selections can be changed at intervals of 3 months. Most of the
targets will be observed at a cadence of once per 15 minutes, but a small subset could be observed with a
one minute cadence. All targets must be within the active area of the Kepler FOV.

ToSeek
2009-May-18, 05:14 PM
Wasn't it suppose to be looking at all the stars in the FOW at the same time? I did i misunderstand this? And is it even technological possible to stare at the entire FOW of this size?

No, they're not looking at all the stars. They're specifically ruling out ones that are too young or too old. I forget how many stars are in the field of view, but it's at least into seven figures. Out of that, they're going to keep an eye on about 100,000 of them. The lecturer I listened to flatly admitted that they were going to miss 99.5% of the planets in the field-of-view.

Sporally
2009-Jun-01, 08:24 PM
And do we know what kind of stars that will be missed? Size, mass or just coincident which ones will be found and which 99.5% won't be found? How many planets does the sciencetists believe Kepler will find?

ToSeek
2009-Jun-04, 06:38 PM
And do we know what kind of stars that will be missed? Size, mass or just coincident which ones will be found and which 99.5% won't be found? How many planets does the sciencetists believe Kepler will find?

Well, the whole point of the mission is to see how many planets are out there, so it's an open question. The lecture I attended summed it up as:

1 planet found => earthlike planets are rare
1000 planets found => earthlike planets are common

So I assume that's the range they're expecting.

The main reason Kepler will miss planets is because it's detecting them via transits, and most of the planets will not be in an orbit that has them transiting their star from our perspective.

ToSeek
2009-Jun-08, 06:31 PM
We hear that Kepler scientists looking at commissioning data are rather pleased... (http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/2009/06/kepler_lookin_good.php)

Sporally
2009-Jun-20, 10:07 AM
How happy can you be with such an announcement:) Everything sounds very positive and optimistic.

schlaugh
2009-Jul-24, 11:11 AM
Looks like all is well with Kepler since a July 2 "safing event" (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20090723.html)and it's starting to return data:


July 23, 2009
Kepler remains in its science attitude and Earth-trailing, helio-centric orbit. The spacecraft is nearing 9,000,000 miles distance from Earth. All Kepler systems are now nominal as it continues to survey its target stars, looking for Earth-sized planets. The last science data downlink occurred on June 18-19, 2009. That downlink included observations of more than 145,000 stars continuously monitored by Kepler for more than 30 days. This downlink comprised about 50 gigabits of data that were processed through the Kepler Science Operations Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The processed data were presented to the Kepler Science Team for its review and analyses. The analyses will continue for some time as the project prepares for the next science data download.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-03, 09:33 PM
Kepler works (http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2009/08/did_kepler_find.html)


According to multiple sources, Kepler has not found anything "new". However it has successfully detected at least one previously discovered substellar object circling another star. In other words, this amazing little spacecraft works! The results of Kepler's observations will appear in an article in this week's edition of Science magazine.

matthewota
2009-Aug-06, 04:55 PM
NASA will hold a media briefing on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. PDT, to discuss early science results of the Kepler mission. Kepler is the first spacecraft with the ability to find Earth-size planets orbiting stars like our sun in a zone where liquid water could exist.

Caelus
2009-Aug-06, 08:13 PM
Hi, I have a few questions about Kepler. I have not had time to read all the posts in this thread and will apologise beforehand if these questions have already been answered.

1. How many planets is Kepler supposed to find?

2. How many earth sized planets is Kepler supposed to find?

3. Will Kepler be looking at Alpha Centauri or other close stars (less than 100 ly)?

4. Not really about Kepler, but are there plans to send a radio transmission to Alpha Centauri? I heard there was one to Gliese 581, but that will take 40 years to get a reply :mad: where with Alpha Centauri it would be only 9.

sohh_fly
2009-Aug-06, 08:25 PM
1. How many planets is Kepler supposed to find?

2. How many earth sized planets is Kepler supposed to find?


I imagine
1.that depends on how lucky Keplar is.
2.""""""""""""""""""""""""""

ToSeek
2009-Aug-06, 10:03 PM
Hi, I have a few questions about Kepler. I have not had time to read all the posts in this thread and will apologise beforehand if these questions have already been answered.

1. How many planets is Kepler supposed to find?

2. How many earth sized planets is Kepler supposed to find?

3. Will Kepler be looking at Alpha Centauri or other close stars (less than 100 ly)?

4. Not really about Kepler, but are there plans to send a radio transmission to Alpha Centauri? I heard there was one to Gliese 581, but that will take 40 years to get a reply :mad: where with Alpha Centauri it would be only 9.

1,2: The point of the mission is to come up with these answers. They'll be looking at around 100,000 stars. Estimates are between 1 and 1,000 planets found: the former would mean that Earthlike planets are rare, the latter that they are extremely common.

3. Definitely not Alpha Centauri. They've hand-picked a particular field-of-view in the northern hemisphere that Kepler will be staring at. I doubt there are any nearby stars on the list because other telescopes could just as easily do those.

4. Not that I know of.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-06, 10:04 PM
Kepler Shows Exoplanet Is Unlike Anything in Our Solar System (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/kepler_hello)


The Kepler Space Telescope, which launched earlier this year to find Earth-like planets elsewhere in our galaxy, showed it’s open for business with NASA’s announcement that an exoplanet we thought we knew is like nothing we’ve seen before.

Peering at a large planet orbiting very close to its star, HAT-P-7b, the telescope delivered what one scientist called “exquisite” data, proving that it’s ready to start looking for Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones around stars.

Analyzing just 10 days of data, the scientists even turned up a major surprise: HAT-P-7b isn’t like Jupiter at all. It has a “dark” side and its atmosphere could be made of relatively exotic chemicals like titanium oxide.

“This planet is not like anything in Earth’s solar system,” said Sara Seager, an exoplanetary scientist at MIT.

The hottest spot on Hat-P-7b could be more than 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the coldest spot. There is no comparable planet around our star.

jlhredshift
2009-Aug-10, 12:45 AM
The picture on the CNN story is an artists conception, right?


Kepler telescope makes quick discovery (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/08/08/space.kepler.discovery/index.html#cnnSTCText)

schlaugh
2009-Aug-10, 04:14 AM
The picture on the CNN story is an artists conception, right?Kepler telescope makes quick discovery (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/08/08/space.kepler.discovery/index.html#cnnSTCText)

Yes...Kepler can distinguish a very slight change in light intensity but that's about it.

Watching the newscast yesterday with the Kepler team, it was interesting to see that Kepler picked up the the planet's reflection; IOW it saw light reflected from the planet as well as the light coming from the star. The reflected light showed up as a distinct rise and fall in the light "curve" coming from the HAT-P system. That speaks very well to Kepler's sensitivity. This will be a fun three-year cruise.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-10, 04:30 AM
Yes...Kepler can distinguish a very slight change in light intensity but that's about it.

Watching the newscast yesterday with the Kepler team, it was interesting to see that Kepler picked up the the planet's reflection; IOW it saw light reflected from the planet as well as the light coming from the star. The reflected light showed up as a distinct rise and fall in the light "curve" coming from the HAT-P system. That speaks very well to Kepler's sensitivity. This will be a fun three-year cruise.

Our illustrious lord and master has a great blog post up about the implications of this:

Kepler works! (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/08/06/kepler-works/)


The planet is reflecting light from the star, just like the Moon reflects sunlight, allowing us to see it. When the planet passes behind the star, we don’t see that light anymore, so the total light from the system drops a wee bit. It’s not much, and totally impossible to see from the ground, but Kepler was able to spot it. And that’s critical, because it turns out this dip is about the same thing we’d expect to see if a planet the size of the Earth were to pass in front of the star. In other words, the drop in light from a giant planet going behind its star is about the same as we’d expect from a smaller planet passing in front of the star.

The fact that Kepler spied this dip at all means that, if somewhere out there an Earthlike world is orbiting a star, Kepler will be able to detect it!

01101001
2009-Aug-10, 05:18 AM
The picture on the CNN story is an artists conception, right?

PIA10364: NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor on Hot, Alien Planet (Artist's Concept) (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10364)

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/thumb/PIA10364.jpg (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA10364)


This artist's impression shows a gas-giant exoplanet transiting across the face of its star.

It's a recycled image.


Infrared analysis by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of this type of system provided the breakthrough.

How about some links?

NASA Kepler Mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov/)
NASA Kepler Mission News (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html)
NASA Kepler Mission: About (http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/about/)
NASA Discovery Mission: Kepler (http://discovery.nasa.gov/kepler.html)
NASA JPL PlanetQuest: Kepler (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/Kepler/kepler_index.cfm)
NASA Kepler Mission Twitter (http://twitter.com/NASAKepler)
NASA Launch Schedule (http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html)
Wikipedia: Kepler Mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission)
Ball Aerospace: Kepler Mission (http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=72)
University of Colorado: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (http://lasp.colorado.edu/kepler-launch/)
SETI Institute: The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds (http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673)
NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163))

jlhredshift
2009-Aug-10, 01:08 PM
It's a recycled image.

Thank You, that is the verification I needed to dispell co-workers thoughts that we had actually imaged an extrasolar planet. It would be nice if the news media would at least post a disclaimer as to the origin of the image.

schlaugh
2009-Aug-10, 01:34 PM
Thank You, that is the verification I needed to dispell co-workers thoughts that we had actually imaged an extrasolar planet. It would be nice if the news media would at least post a disclaimer as to the origin of the image.

The image (actually images including the second in the series for that story) has a NASA logo in the lower right corner.

jlhredshift
2009-Aug-10, 03:33 PM
The image (actually images including the second in the series for that story) has a NASA logo in the lower right corner.

That logo is what allowed some to think that the image was an actual "product" of the satellite.

schlaugh
2009-Aug-10, 04:43 PM
That logo is what allowed some to think that the image was an actual "product" of the satellite.

Ahhh....well, CNN gave NASA credit through that logo although I suppose CNN could have done a better job of noting that it was not real.

01101001
2009-Aug-11, 01:12 AM
Ahhh....well, CNN gave NASA credit through that logo although I suppose CNN could have done a better job of noting that it was not real.

Right. It really needed the explanatory caption.

My method: went to Planetary Photojournal :: Universe (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/universe), and eyeball-scanned for the image. Lucky for me, it was among the 100 most recent.

I figured that if it was new for the current Kepler story, it would be right at the top, with a good explanation of the image's source. When I found it missing there, I just looked backward in time. I was surprised it was recycled from a story from another mission, but I guess when you've commissioned one generic hot Jupiter, you've paid enough.

slang
2009-Nov-03, 12:08 AM
Oh noes! Universe Today: No Earth-Sized Planet Hunting for Kepler Until 2011 (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/11/02/no-earth-sized-planet-hunting-for-kepler-until-2011/)


A glitch in the Kepler spacecraft's electronics means the space telescope will not have the ability to spot an Earth-sized planet until 2011, according to principal investigator William Borucki. Noisy amplifiers are creating noise that compromises Kepler's view, and the team will have to generate and upload a software fix for the spacecraft

One of the comments suggests that this may not be entirely accurate.. I don't see anything on the NASA Kepler website (http://kepler.nasa.gov/index.html) yet, nor on this one (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html).

01101001
2010-Jan-04, 04:21 PM
Universe Today: Kepler Discovers Planets-like Objects Hotter Than Stars (http://www.universetoday.com/2010/01/04/kepler-discovers-planets-like-objects-hotter-than-stars/)


The Kepler mission announced the discovery of 5 new extrasolar planets today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC, each with some very unusual properties. But additionally, the space telescope has spotted some Jupiter-sized objects orbiting stars, and these objects are hotter than the host star. The science team has no idea what these objects could be, but they are part of 100 planetary candidates Kepler has observed that are still being analyzed.
[...]
[NASA Ames' William] Borucki said in 2010 Kepler will focus on the discovery of smaller planets, with an Earth-sized planet being the "holy grail" of exoplanet discoveries.
Other objects detected by Kepler include unusual variable stars, including binaries, oscillating stars, pulsating variables, and more, including other exoplanets, but declined to divulge more, saying his team has to be patient and do the confirmations on all the objects before.

Borucki also said data from Kepler will be released to the public on a regular basis starting in June 2010.

Edit: Press Conference Begins 1000 PST (1300 EST). In about 100 minutes from posting time.

Although the news conference will not be broadcast live on NASA Television, Kepler video will be aired on NASA TV immediately following the news briefing on the media channel. NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html)

Speakers' slides available after start of press conference: NASA Kepler: AAS conference images (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/aas_conference.html)

01101001
2010-Jan-04, 06:16 PM
Speakers' slides available after start of press conference: NASA Kepler: AAS conference images (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/aas_conference.html)

Images up now.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/415020main1_light_curves_8_226.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/aas_conference.html)

KaiYeves
2010-Jan-05, 01:32 AM
You know, it was our first day back from vacation today, and Exams are coming up, so the teachers piled on all this homework, but I finally got to a computer and I looked at the NASA site and read this article...

And right now, I just feel good.

sanman
2010-Jan-05, 06:45 AM
Here's some more news analysis/commentary:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0104/NASA-s-Kepler-finds-its-first-five-planets-an-odd-assortment

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=kepler-five-extrasolar-planets

01101001
2010-Jun-15, 06:35 PM
Universe Today: New Worlds to Explore? Kepler Spacecraft Finds 750 Exoplanet Candidates (http://www.universetoday.com/2010/06/15/new-worlds-to-explore-kepler-spacecraft-finds-750-exoplanet-candidates/)


The Kepler spacecraft has found over 750 candidates for extrasolar planets, and that is just from data collected in the first 43 days of the spacecraft's observations. "This is the biggest release of candidate planets that has ever happened," said William Borucki, Kepler's lead scientist. "The number of candidate planets is actually greater than all the planets that have been discovered in the last 15 years."

I recall with amusement the recent thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/100486-Why-has-Kepler-only-found-5-planets-so-far) complaining that Kepler had only found 5 candidates, at the time.

Antice
2010-Jun-15, 07:31 PM
humm..... with 750 possible planetary occultations in just 43 days. that would seem to indicate that a lot of the candidate stars have decently sized planets in fairly tight orbits around them. and this is just one very very tiny corner of the sky as well. the mind boggles at the implications this may have for the massive number of chances the galaxy have for having a life bearing planet. or this may only be some kind of fluke and planets may again be regarded as a fairly rare occurrence.

baric
2010-Jun-15, 08:36 PM
humm..... with 750 possible planetary occultations in just 43 days. that would seem to indicate that a lot of the candidate stars have decently sized planets in fairly tight orbits around them. and this is just one very very tiny corner of the sky as well. the mind boggles at the implications this may have for the massive number of chances the galaxy have for having a life bearing planet. or this may only be some kind of fluke and planets may again be regarded as a fairly rare occurrence.

750 is well out of fluke territory.

KaiYeves
2010-Jun-15, 09:40 PM
750? Wow!

Holy zark, that's a lot!

01101001
2010-Jun-15, 11:28 PM
The lecture I attended summed it up as:

1 planet found => earthlike planets are rare
1000 planets found => earthlike planets are common

750 possibilities is a good start.

Sardonicone
2010-Jun-16, 01:00 AM
750? From the first 43 days? If even half of those stand up, this could be a game-changer. I mean extrapolating that outwards....and taking in that this is just one small portion of the sky....I'm speechless.

Hernalt
2010-Jun-16, 05:19 AM
7 objects within a 1.5 Earth radius, 60 within 2 Earth radius, 164 within 3 Earth radius.

158 objects w period shorter than 10 days. 7 objects w period longer than 58 days (Mercury).

A 1.62 Earth-radius object w 40 day period around 5400 K star w .67 solar radius. (Goldilocks?)
A 2.28 Earth-radius object w 41 day period around 5509 K star w 1.12 solar radius. (Sol = 5778 K)

Jetlack
2010-Jun-16, 03:36 PM
7 objects within a 1.5 Earth radius, 60 within 2 Earth radius, 164 within 3 Earth radius.

158 objects w period shorter than 10 days. 7 objects w period longer than 58 days (Mercury).

A 1.62 Earth-radius object w 40 day period around 5400 K star w .67 solar radius. (Goldilocks?)
A 2.28 Earth-radius object w 41 day period around 5509 K star w 1.12 solar radius. (Sol = 5778 K)

It would be very cool if we really got some earthlike planets in this first batch; that might indicate they are not so rare.

Hernalt
2010-Jun-16, 09:53 PM
At least in the freebie / least wanted 300 of 700 data points, there were no immediately analogous earth-like planets. Lots of earth-size-esque rocks whipping around stars like an electron in hell. Very few objects at a (probable) liquid-water distance. (There's probably a formula for liquid water orbits as function of stellar surface temp and area.) I thought I saw two freebie objects that might plausibly exist in liquid water orbits.

Sardonicone
2010-Jun-17, 02:47 AM
7 objects within a 1.5 Earth radius, 60 within 2 Earth radius, 164 within 3 Earth radius.

158 objects w period shorter than 10 days. 7 objects w period longer than 58 days (Mercury).

A 1.62 Earth-radius object w 40 day period around 5400 K star w .67 solar radius. (Goldilocks?)
A 2.28 Earth-radius object w 41 day period around 5509 K star w 1.12 solar radius. (Sol = 5778 K)

I wasn't even expecting any possible Earth's from this first batch. It's way too soon to be able to verify Earth sized objects orbiting a star similar to Sol at our distance, as we'll need several measurements to verify.

Just off the top of my head, I'd wager the 1.62 Earth Radius object is also a hellish place, as the star it's around will be too large, and too bright, to allow it to be cool enough for liquid water.

Antice
2010-Jun-17, 06:30 AM
43 days is just barely enough to get candidate planets of the mercury/venus kind. or hot jupiters.
in about a year at we will know more about the likelihood of more earth like planets.

Romanus
2010-Jun-18, 11:24 PM
A little back-of-the-envelope math, guesswork, and a lucky check with an official astronomical source show that a star for which a 40-day orbit would be in the habitable zone straddles the M and K spectral classes; Lacaille 8760 (M0) is an almost perfect example. With Kepler's limiting magnitude of ~14, it could theoretically pull in any transiting planet around a star with identical luminosity within about 350 light-years.

Relevant paper that I stumbled upon, concerning Kepler's sensitivity to M-class transits (note that it's from well before launch, so whatever it addresses may have been rectified): http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/594/1/533/pdf/0004-637X_594_1_533.pdf

MaDeR
2010-Jun-20, 10:14 AM
Please have in mind that known data is about least interesting candidates. 400 candidate planets (presumably most interesting cases, like 1Me in habitable zones of red dwarfs and the like) are on hold to Ferburary 2010. I think we already have in 0's and 1's of Kepler data world that will make big headlines early next year.

I heard somewhere estimation that about 50% of these data will be false positives. Surprisingly large for me after initial sieves, but ah well. 350 worlds is still nearly doubling count of known planets.

Kinetic
2010-Jun-20, 10:54 AM
Tantalising is not the word, well it is, but it's also a massive understatement. To me Kepler has the potential for the most exciting scientific discoveries in my lifetime. Roll on February!

Zvezdichko
2010-Jun-21, 11:46 AM
Show some good journalism, people :)

Don't share only the good news.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/140410/full/news.2010.182.html

Telescope team may be allowed to sit on exoplanet data


Scott Gaudi, an astronomer at Ohio State University in Columbus, says external astronomers might help the Kepler team, as it will be unable on its own to follow up and confirm all its candidate planets. "I think Kepler is being far too conservative, and far too closed about what's going on," he says, "and I think it's to the detriment of science".

MaDeR
2010-Jun-21, 05:05 PM
They have right to hold data for certain period of time. Publish or perish and all of that.

Garrison
2010-Jun-21, 05:57 PM
Show some good journalism, people :)

Don't share only the good news.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/140410/full/news.2010.182.html

Telescope team may be allowed to sit on exoplanet data

And back to this argument again...

Zvezdichko
2010-Jun-21, 06:36 PM
I actually want to be a good space journalist.

It's my dream.

I don't want to use all the same arguments, but sometimes I have no choice. I really want to see discoveries of exoplanets as soon as possible. I bet there's a faster way - if more and more people are allowed to work on this data. This is an enormous amount of data - and a handful of dedicated workers can't speed the process by themselves- unless more people are invited.

I really want to see the discovery of the first Earth-like planet. I can almost guess it will be a hot Earth - a planet the size of the Earth but orbiting the star for several days.

I bet on this :)

Garrison
2010-Jun-21, 07:11 PM
I actually want to be a good space journalist.

It's my dream.

I don't want to use all the same arguments, but sometimes I have no choice. I really want to see discoveries of exoplanets as soon as possible. I bet there's a faster way - if more and more people are allowed to work on this data. This is an enormous amount of data - and a handful of dedicated workers can't speed the process by themselves- unless more people are invited.

I really want to see the discovery of the first Earth-like planet. I can almost guess it will be a hot Earth - a planet the size of the Earth but orbiting the star for several days.

I bet on this :)

it's been explained again and again why the scientists who actually run a project get first rights to examine the data. Those people have put in years, sometimes decades, of their lives to make projects like Kepler happen but according to you they should just be shouldered aside because you want to see a result NOW. Frankly someone like Scott Gaudi should know better, or does he post all his observations instantly online for the world to examine?

Swift
2010-Jun-21, 08:46 PM
And please, let's keep this thread on the particulars of the Kepler mission. If you want to debate data and publication rights and related issues, revive one of the past threads on it, or start a new one.

Zvezdichko
2010-Jun-22, 09:35 AM
Half of my post is valid and on-topic. We should really consider the posibility of the Hot Earths existance. Data already released and available to the public should be used to confirm this hypothesis.

Sporally
2010-Aug-17, 04:52 PM
Oh noes! Universe Today: No Earth-Sized Planet Hunting for Kepler Until 2011 (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/11/02/no-earth-sized-planet-hunting-for-kepler-until-2011/)
Was there nothing on this? Or has it all been solved earlier than expected or what happened...?


7 objects within a 1.5 Earth radius, 60 within 2 Earth radius, 164 within 3 Earth radius.

158 objects w period shorter than 10 days. 7 objects w period longer than 58 days (Mercury).

A 1.62 Earth-radius object w 40 day period around 5400 K star w .67 solar radius. (Goldilocks?)
A 2.28 Earth-radius object w 41 day period around 5509 K star w 1.12 solar radius. (Sol = 5778 K)
I'm personally a big user of primitive calculations to stay optimistic about things and get the dissapointment later, but i guess you know that this is optimistic from the few things we know and the theories that exist, right?


(There's probably a formula for liquid water orbits as function of stellar surface temp and area.)
Should be, yes. Anyone knows about this formula?


They have right to hold data for certain period of time. Publish or perish and all of that.
For how long is this if you know..?

MaDeR
2010-Aug-18, 01:20 PM
For how long is this if you know..?
In this case, AFAIK Ferburary 2011.

Sporally
2010-Aug-18, 06:14 PM
Oh well, i meant scientific (or astronomical) data in general - if there is any common rules on this subject? And also in general for the Kepler mission, is it one year or 9 months they are allowed to keep it for themselves or something? But for now i will really be looking forward to February!!

Paul Scott Anderson
2010-Aug-20, 05:18 AM
Not quite sure what to make of this yet, but Alan Boyle (Cosmic Log) says on his Twitter that the timing would match the Science magazine publication...

http://www.techeye.net/science/us-kepler-project-set-to-trounce-oxford-in-the-war-of-the-worlds

Sporally
2010-Aug-20, 05:46 PM
Why is it that such an annoncement like this seem to make my life go slower - the next 6 days will be like the longest days of the whole summer :)

When things like this NDA is signed, who big could we be talking? Something among the lines of a record like 'smallest exoplanet ever found' or more like 'yet another of those exoplanets sized smaller than Neptune'. Sorry if it sounds like i'm taking the glory of such a discovery, but something you just get too big thought and wishes of such an upcoming annoncement that you can only be dissapointed..

KaiYeves
2010-Aug-20, 10:30 PM
Why is it that such an annoncement like this seem to make my life go slower - the next 6 days will be like the longest days of the whole summer :)



Look, when you're this close to the start of school, you should be GLAD for six days of summer that feel longer than usual!

Sporally
2010-Aug-20, 11:38 PM
Well, ain't going to school but i wouldn't mind the coming 6 days going a little faster :) But fair enough, plenty of fun stuff to do until ;)

KaiYeves
2010-Aug-21, 07:15 PM
I forget that adults see August in a completely different light...

Sardonicone
2010-Aug-22, 12:59 AM
I forget that adults see August in a completely different light...

Most of us, yes.

I however, do not. Simply because I loathe the cold months.

Ilya
2010-Aug-22, 02:31 AM
When things like this NDA is signed, who big could we be talking? Something among the lines of a record like 'smallest exoplanet ever found' or more like 'yet another of those exoplanets sized smaller than Neptune'. Sorry if it sounds like i'm taking the glory of such a discovery, but something you just get too big thought and wishes of such an upcoming annoncement that you can only be dissapointed..
Here is my guess -- first exoplanet with a moon

Sporally
2010-Aug-22, 03:52 PM
I forget that adults see August in a completely different light...
Huh..?


Here is my guess -- first exoplanet with a moon
Could be, but i guess it is a very difficult thing to observe. Remember what the differences in observing a small planet versus observing an Earth-sized moon. When we have a planet system with a moon we will need the planet to make the transit in the plane of the star as with any other exoplanet detection using the method of transitioning. Then we need the moon to make an eclipse of the planet or the other way around resulting in a dip in the light received from the star. Then we need to moon to finish its transit before the planet finishes the transit. Oh yes, and not only does the planet need to be within the plane of the star, the moon needs to be in the plane of the planet. When the moon ends its transit before the planet ends it transit we have the period of the moon, and also the diameter of both the planet and the moon. Problem here is that we will need several transits of the moon within the transit of the planet in front of the star so that we can confirm it to be a moon and not 'just' another planet or an asteroid.

Another problem: Usally a transit of a planet is followed up by a calculation of the radial velocity. By doing a radial velocity-measurement we will only get the mass of the entire planet system and not the planet and its moon(s) seperately – unless we can calculate the pull change on the star from the moon when it is on both sides of the planet, but this is definately within error margin.

That's not the only problems though: Big moons are only in a stable orbit if they are far from the star. That's why the outer planets of our solar system has moons far farther away from the planet than in the inner solar system. Small moons around planets far from the star definately are even more difficult to observe than just Earth-sized planets close to its parent star.

KaiYeves
2010-Aug-22, 04:41 PM
Huh..?
Adults don't dread August because they don't have to go back to school.

Sporally
2010-Aug-22, 10:40 PM
Getting back from their summer holidays ;) But i know what you mean, i still remember my time in school and how it was to come back to school after 6 weeks of holidays!

RGClark
2010-Aug-26, 01:07 PM
Another article on the announcement to be made today:

NASA to Reveal Big News From Planet-Hunting Spacecraft Today.
By Denise Chow
SPACE.com Staff Writer
This story was updated Aug. 26 at 12 a.m. ET.
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/nasa-to-announce-latest-kepler-findings-100823.html

No doubt Zvezdichko wil be happy to hear this.


Bob Clark

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 01:14 PM
I will be :)

Sporally
2010-Aug-26, 01:23 PM
Do we know when in the afternoon this will air? Really looking forward to this one :)

I was wondering, regarding using the detection method of transitioning. If some alien from outside looked at our solar system in an amazingly great telescope, no limits, could all the planets of our solar system be within the same plane as to that of the sun, which could make it possible for the alien to see all our planets in the solar system using transitioning? And what about Pluto? I know Pluto's orbit has a big inclination (if i remember correct), but how big is it - too big to be seen from outside using the transitioning method?

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 02:22 PM
Remember what the differences in observing a small planet versus observing an Earth-sized moon. Just what are those differences? (may I assume you've read this post (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/58157-Interesting-extrasolar-planet-discoveries?p=1782174#post1782174)?)


Then we need the moon to make an eclipse of the planet or the other way around resulting in a dip in the light received from the star. If the moon goes behind/infront of the planet during a transit, the star will appear to brighten for the same reason the star appears to brighten when a planet covers a starspot. Less surface area of darkened features.


Then we need to moon to finish its transit before the planet finishes the transit Nonsense. As long as the moon does not stay behind/infront of the planet throughout the planet's transit, we'll be able to nail down both the planet and moon radius.


and not only does the planet need to be within the plane of the star, the moon needs to be in the plane of the planetRefer to what I wrote here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/58157-Interesting-extrasolar-planet-discoveries?p=1782174#post1782174) for why that isn't so.
And, for a minor nitpick... the phrase "same plane as the planet" is meaningless. A planet defines a single point in space... and a plane requires three. A planetary system provides enough points to define a planet.


Another problem: Usally a transit of a planet is followed up by a calculation of the radial velocity. By doing a radial velocity-measurement we will only get the mass of the entire planet system and not the planet and its moon(s) seperately – unless we can calculate the pull change on the star from the moon when it is on both sides of the planet, but this is definately within error margin. The moon and the planet will orbit around a common barycenter. Imagine watching Pluto-Charon transit. Because of the barycentric motion of the exoplanet, transits will come delayed or ahead of expected. If you measure these transit timing variations, you can read off the mass of the moon.


That's not the only problems though: Big moons are only in a stable orbit if they are far from the star. That's why the outer planets of our solar system has moons far farther away from the planet than in the inner solar system. Small moons around planets far from the star definately are even more difficult to observe than just Earth-sized planets close to its parent star. Generally true, but the planet mass is also a factor. Beef Jupiter up and send it to Venus' orbit and it could hold onto some of those moons.


Do we know when in the afternoon this will air? Really looking forward to this one1 PM EST (ref: Spaceref)


which could make it possible for the alien to see all our planets in the solar system using transitioning? No. The inclination of the planets are too great even without Pluto.

RGClark
2010-Aug-26, 02:36 PM
Do we know when in the afternoon this will air? Really looking forward to this one :)

MEDIA ADVISORY : M10-120 NASA To Announce Latest Findings By Kepler Spacecraft.
"WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a media teleconference Thursday, Aug. 26, at 1 p.m. EDT to discuss the Kepler spacecraft's latest discovery about an intriguing planetary system."
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_M10-120_Kepler_Telecon.html


Bob Clark

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 02:47 PM
Sporally,

consider this arrangement.
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t137/CrossingStyx/Astronomy/Transit_Moons-Copy.jpg

The middle moon will not transit on this transit, but if one waits for the planet to orbit around and conduct another transit, the moons will be in a different orientation. Clearly the moon system is non-coplanar with the planetary system, however.

In general, for a transiting planet, all of its moons will transit.

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 05:22 PM
Hm... Just saw the publication.

Two hot jupiters. Yawn. One unconfirmed hot Earth. Yawn.

Wouldn't have happened if all data was available for free. So that many astronomers would have the chance to use it.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 07:59 PM
Two hot jupiters. Yawn. One unconfirmed hot Earth. Yawn. Wouldn't have happened if all data was available for free. So that many astronomers would have the chance to use it.
Predictably short-sighted (http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.2763) response. It's posts like that which make it clear your "interest" in exoplanet science extends no further than berating the Kepler project and scolding the scientists that do not live their lives to produce science at a pace set by you. I "yawn" at a lot of the galactic science I run across but I don't feel the compulsory urge to rant about it so bluntly on a thread about it and try to drag down the excitement of others.

Another thing that makes this system interesting is the detection of transit timing variations. We will be able to directly probe the dynamics of this system much more in depth than usually feasible for others.

Planet parameters:
http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/

NASA release:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/two_planet_orbit.html

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 08:11 PM
No... My reply is expected. Just take a look at SPACE.COM's comments:


We waited all week for this? a couple of new exoplanets, sigh...


This was built up as something exciting and new. Something major or different, but this isn't major or different. Just more of the same disappointment.



Detecting these worlds is an amazing feat and congratulations to the respective teams.

However - am I the only person who sees these discoveries as the ultimate frustration??


I'll agree that this is highly frustrating! The news about the 5 planet system was WAY more exciting than this one. With the hype we've been fed for the last couple of days, I really expected more out of this "announcement".


And I will go even further.

Borucki openly blamed Sasselov that his claims are misleading. "I'm disappointed one of our members confused people", this was what he said.
http://spaceref.net/mt-search.cgi?search=Kepler&IncludeBlogs=14&limit=20

Not only the Kepler team made the scientist from my country to look bad, but there's something more. Now the Kepler team alone misleads the public, as can be clearly seen (see the comments).

And I'm almost confident nobody will take responsibility for this latest confusion.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 08:16 PM
No... My reply is expected.
Of course it is. You aren't the only person who has ~no concept of what's going on.


Borucki openly blamed Sasselov that his claims are misleading. If Borucki had praised Sasselov, would that have made you appreciate the value that Kepler-9 b and c are to extrasolar planet science?


Now the Kepler team alone misleads the public, as can be clearly seen (see the comments). No, Zvezdichko, you and the other uninformed commentors on Space.com allow yourselves to feel deceived because you build false expectations and hopes and don't take the effort to educate yourself.

You should know as well as I how terribly misinformed the commentors on space.com usually are. The fact that you would use them to your defense weakens your already failing argument.

Edit: There is a pretty nice post on the Centauri-Dreams blog about the system. http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=14108

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 08:21 PM
No. My claim is not based on science. They said Sasselov used the word Earth-like carelessly. But you know this. I know this. The term Earth-like is correct, right?

I have my right to blame them they used the word- intriguing- carelessly. This is not about science. This is about making a misleading claim. This is all their fault.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 08:29 PM
Yes, I agree he should have shown more constraint.


I have my right to blame them they used the word- intriguing- carelessly. The average layman, perhaps... but from you? Anyone who has more than a passing interest in extrasolar planet science knew what he meant.


This is not about science. This is about making a misleading claim. I was not mislead. Care to explain that?


This is all their fault. If it is, then it is a result if insufficient public relations, not an attempt to deceive. The Kepler team are signficantly less than the evil, dark-robed go-tee wielding, diabolical fiends that you portray them as.

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 08:34 PM
Almost all of your points are correct except the last sentence, and maybe except the second part of the second-to last. I'm happy now.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-26, 08:35 PM
I'm not yet, I asked you a question and you haven't answered it.

Almost all of your points are correct except the last sentence, So you do think of the Kepler team as 1950's style evil scientists?

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-26, 08:43 PM
No. I don't think that. I mean this one: "diabolical fiends that you portray them as.". I don't know what makes you think I portray them as eevil diabolical fiends.

I was not mislead. Care to explain that?

You're not exactly the public in general... You may know what to expect, but this doesn't mean everyone else knows what to expect. I do care about the public.

Sporally
2010-Aug-26, 10:57 PM
It all comes down to from what viewpoint you represent. Ask the public or the journalists of regular newspapers. They won't say one word about this tomorrow and if you ask them this day has been all a dissapointment. If you ask anyone who is a little (little more than you Zvezdichko) into exoplanets, this is a good day and something new indeed we can be happy with! Nothing to 'yawn' at unless you are like 99% of the public that just want to find ET or an Earth 2.0 we can colonize in 20 years (as they don't know better about the distance to that planet). On the other hand i'll have to say I think the annoncement of 5-7 planets in the same star system was even greater, but that's my honorst opinion - would say that discovery would deserve its own annoncement like the one tonight... don't know if it actually did or didn't get that much attention.


Just what are those differences? (may I assume you've read this post (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/58157-Interesting-extrasolar-planet-discoveries?p=1782174#post1782174)?)
OK, you got me there :) I guess that argues against most of my statements - may i say i was unfortunately wrong...


The moon and the planet will orbit around a common barycenter. Imagine watching Pluto-Charon transit. Because of the barycentric motion of the exoplanet, transits will come delayed or ahead of expected. If you measure these transit timing variations, you can read off the mass of the moon.
Really?? Amazing, just nothing comes within the error margin!


No. The inclination of the planets are too great even without Pluto.
None of the at all? Surpricing, I thought the inclination of the planets in the solar system wasn’t a problem at all. Using the transitioning method, how big a percentage of the stars have the right angle/inclination for us to see its planets if they all had planets large enough? Are there any similar problem with using the radial velocity except orbit radius is a big obstacle here…?

ToSeek
2010-Aug-27, 12:59 AM
Are there any similar problem with using the radial velocity except orbit radius is a big obstacle here…?

You're not going to be able to detect a planet around another star using the usual Doppler radial velocity approach if the plane of the orbit is perpendicular to the line-of-sight between us and the star.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-27, 01:59 AM
Using the transitioning method, how big a percentage of the stars have the right angle/inclination for us to see its planets if they all had planets large enough?I can't give you a percentage, but it's fairly low. The odds of detecting a planet transit is a function of its distance from the star during the transit window. It drops off rapidly for anything more distant than hot Jupiters.

Interesting tid-bit... from the Gliese 876 planetary system, Mercury would be observable as a transiting planet.

MaDeR
2010-Aug-28, 05:48 PM
Zvezdichko, you complain when Kepler sciencists does not release immediately results. You complain when they release results. You hung up on media hype and science-speak. All I see from you is constant complaining regardless of what they do. This starts to be tiring and in this circumstances, it is hard to find any value in your words.

And about main thread... yes, this hype was in some sense misleading. Still, very interesting nad intriguing discovery. Just not to general public, but to sciencists.

kamaz
2010-Aug-28, 06:45 PM
Two hot jupiters. Yawn. One unconfirmed hot Earth. Yawn.


And there will be nothing else until at least three years into the mission. It takes two transits to detect a planet, and a third one to confirm. We can reasonably guess that an Earth-like planet (i.e. this what we all really want to see) should have an orbital period of at least half a year. That means waiting up to 6 months for initial detection, up to 12 months for the second transit establishing the orbital period and up to 18 months for the confirming transit. For a planet in an Earth-like orbit, this is works out to 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. A planet in Mars-like orbit takes 2, 6, and 8 years, respectively.

Why do you reject this simple mathematical truth?



Wouldn't have happened if all data was available for free. So that many astronomers would have the chance to use it.

Have you ever worked with noisy data? I have (as a matter of fact, I still do). I can tell you that a person without intimate knowledge of system operation, characteristics, biases, and instrumental noise sources is guaranteed to find a bunch artifacts which can conform to ANY theory. (I did it myself once. Or, actually, I know that I did it once. Which means that I probably did it more than once). A careless release of raw data is guaranteed to produce a flood of spurious discoveries. It must be accompanied by the release of algorithms which filter the data. And said algorithms cannot be sufficiently perfected until you have a big enough dataset and you have developed a method for verifying results of these algorithms.

kamaz
2010-Aug-28, 06:48 PM
The middle moon will not transit on this transit, but if one waits for the planet to orbit around and conduct another transit, the moons will be in a different orientation. Clearly the moon system is non-coplanar with the planetary system, however. In general, for a transiting planet, all of its moons will transit.

Errrr.... If the moon happens to be behind or in front of the planet, you are also going to miss it even if the system is coplanar.

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-29, 11:26 AM
Kamaz: I haven't rejected the simple mathematical truth. But we should have already confirmed a hot Earth! This should have happened by now... you know why it hasn't happened yet.

ugordan
2010-Aug-29, 01:05 PM
I can tell you that a person without intimate knowledge of system operation, characteristics, biases, and instrumental noise sources is guaranteed to find a bunch artifacts which can conform to ANY theory. (I did it myself once. Or, actually, I know that I did it once. Which means that I probably did it more than once). A careless release of raw data is guaranteed to produce a flood of spurious discoveries. It must be accompanied by the release of algorithms which filter the data. And said algorithms cannot be sufficiently perfected until you have a big enough dataset and you have developed a method for verifying results of these algorithms.
An excellent point worth repeating. There's more to data analysis and mining than what the laymen think where results just pop up right away. Spurious discoveries would do more harm than good to the overall science Kepler achieved.

Garrison
2010-Aug-29, 01:16 PM
Kamaz: I haven't rejected the simple mathematical truth. But we should have already confirmed a hot Earth! This should have happened by now... you know why it hasn't happened yet.

Well I certainly don't, please enlighten me.

Zvezdichko
2010-Aug-29, 02:26 PM
Well... you have the data, you have a dozen of qualified specialits working on it... You get it sooner than if you have a handful of elite experts.

Swift
2010-Aug-29, 04:15 PM
Well... you have the data, you have a dozen of qualified specialits working on it... You get it sooner than if you have a handful of elite experts.
Zvezdichko,

Enough already. You had an entire thread to debate the speed of Kepler data release. You have made your point multiple times and you are now just being disruptive.

Garrison
2010-Aug-29, 04:34 PM
Zvezdichko,

Enough already. You had an entire thread to debate the speed of Kepler data release. You have made your point multiple times and you are now just being disruptive.

Sorry about asking the question I wanted to be sure this wasn't some new complaint.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-29, 05:41 PM
Errrr.... If the moon happens to be behind or in front of the planet, you are also going to miss it even if the system is coplanar. Right, perhaps I should have said "will transit eventually." I realise sometimes a moon won't be detect on a specific transit, I was aiming for a more general statement. Maybe "transitable."

Not that it has anything to do with anything discussed here... but it should be remembered that it took a couple years (Earth's years) to confirm CoRoT-7 b. RV is the bottleneck.

kamaz
2010-Aug-29, 06:46 PM
Kamaz: I haven't rejected the simple mathematical truth. But we should have already confirmed a hot Earth! This should have happened by now... you know why it hasn't happened yet.

Excuse me? See the Borucki paper http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1006.2799 figure 2 top. There are 40 short-period candidates with between 1 and 2 Earth radii.

kamaz
2010-Aug-29, 06:53 PM
An excellent point worth repeating. There's more to data analysis and mining than what the laymen think where results just pop up right away.

Thanks. I will link to my earlier post which contains more information on noise sources in Kepler: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/105208-NASA-s-PR-problems?p=1767902#post1767902

I mean, my hat goes off to these guys seeing that they can actually tackle this!

Paul Scott Anderson
2010-Aug-29, 07:07 PM
Kamaz: I haven't rejected the simple mathematical truth. But we should have already confirmed a hot Earth! This should have happened by now... you know why it hasn't happened yet.

Re Kamaz' point, this also includes of course the just announced new probable planet about 1.5 times Earth's radius orbiting very close to the star Kepler 9 (1.6 day orbit), which certainly qualifies as a hot Earth...!

Sporally
2010-Aug-31, 09:59 AM
You're not going to be able to detect a planet around another star using the usual Doppler radial velocity approach if the plane of the orbit is perpendicular to the line-of-sight between us and the star.
And i guess that means that the closer the planet comes to a perpendicular orbit to the line-of-sight it gets harder. How far are we from doing a radial velocity calculation from just looking at the star - not using the Doppler effect?


I can't give you a percentage, but it's fairly low. The odds of detecting a planet transit is a function of its distance from the star during the transit window. It drops off rapidly for anything more distant than hot Jupiters.
So I guess theoretically we are able to determind the percentage of star systems that, at most, have planets in the HZ since we can easily calculate the HZ of every star system, however, not telling anything about the sizes of the planets and thereby not telling anything about another “Earth” so to speak…


Interesting tid-bit... from the Gliese 876 planetary system, Mercury would be observable as a transiting planet.
Impressive! What about Earth? Or is the inclination of Earth to big? Now I think about it, does distance between the star system you look at and the star system you’re sitting in have anything to say except from an increased demand of telescopic power? AFAIK I doesn’t matter about the inclination of the planet as radius between the two system increases. Guess you were only talking because of it plane-of-sight and not its distance.


And there will be nothing else until at least three years into the mission. It takes two transits to detect a planet, and a third one to confirm. We can reasonably guess that an Earth-like planet (i.e. this what we all really want to see) should have an orbital period of at least half a year. That means waiting up to 6 months for initial detection, up to 12 months for the second transit establishing the orbital period and up to 18 months for the confirming transit. For a planet in an Earth-like orbit, this is works out to 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. A planet in Mars-like orbit takes 2, 6, and 8 years, respectively.

Why do you reject this simple mathematical truth?
Partly true: In case we’re interested in Earths in the HZ around a K-star, the year could be only a few months. But yes, around a G-star we will need to wait because of the simple mathematical truth.


Re Kamaz' point, this also includes of course the just announced new probable planet about 1.5 times Earth's radius orbiting very close to the star Kepler 9 (1.6 day orbit), which certainly qualifies as a hot Earth...!
Link?? Thank you…

Paul Scott Anderson
2010-Aug-31, 04:26 PM
Link?? Thank you…

Right here:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2010/10-73AR.html
http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.4393

The paper linked to indicates it is regarded as highly likely to be a (hot) super-Earth planet. It also indicates a 1.4 Earth radius, which would be the smallest found so far. The two confirmed Saturn-sized planets orbiting the same star got most of the attention last week, but this will be even more significant if confirmed soon.

Hungry4info
2010-Aug-31, 04:41 PM
How far are we from doing a radial velocity calculation from just looking at the star - not using the Doppler effect? That would be 'astrometry.' It's been done for a few planet hosts and, unlike with radial velocity, allows you to know the true mass of the planet, and the orbit in full 3D. So far, no planets have been discovered through this method (claims of such have an excellent record of being disproven), but has been used to determine the true masses and inclinations of a few planets previously detected by radial velocity.


Impressive! What about Earth? Or is the inclination of Earth to big? From Gliese 876, Earth does not transit. The mutual inclination of Mercury and Earth is simply too great:
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t137/CrossingStyx/Celestia/InnerSystem.jpg


Now I think about it, does distance between the star system you look at and the star system you’re sitting in have anything to say except from an increased demand of telescopic power? Correct. A transit of a hot Jupiter around a sunlike star will produce a ~1 - 2% change in brightness regardless of that star's distance.


AFAIK I doesn’t matter about the inclination of the planet as radius between the two system increases. At the distances we're talking about, that's right.


Link?? Thank you…
Really? Just about every link that talked about Kepler-9 mentioned the super-Earth candidate. Just visit the NASA release or look at any of the other news releases. Edit: Paul Scott Anderson just gave you excellent links. You were earlier talking about what was needed to confirm a candidate. Paul Scott Anderson's second link takes you to a paper that spends a considerable amount of time working through the alternatives, excluding blend scenarios and such.

Sporally
2010-Sep-27, 07:29 PM
That would be 'astrometry.' It's been done for a few planet hosts and, unlike with radial velocity, allows you to know the true mass of the planet, and the orbit in full 3D. So far, no planets have been discovered through this method (claims of such have an excellent record of being disproven), but has been used to determine the true masses and inclinations of a few planets previously detected by radial velocity.
How can the mass be determind if you can make discoveries using this method?

Romanus
2010-Sep-27, 10:51 PM
^
In short: because the ratio of the mutual orbit around the center of mass (because technically any two or more orbiting bodies orbit their center of mass, which would only be at the exact center for massless objects) is directly proportional to the mass ratio of the two bodies.

Sporally
2010-Oct-01, 08:20 AM
Hum, honorstly didn't get that one. I can't find the argument why we can make discovery using the doppler-effect but not astronometry. If we can find a planet's mass with astronometry we should be able to detect it using astronometry. It is the same method used in both areas IFAIK :think:

ToSeek
2010-Oct-01, 02:55 PM
That would be 'astrometry.' It's been done for a few planet hosts and, unlike with radial velocity, allows you to know the true mass of the planet, and the orbit in full 3D. So far, no planets have been discovered through this method (claims of such have an excellent record of being disproven), but has been used to determine the true masses and inclinations of a few planets previously detected by radial velocity.

Has this one been retracted?: Planet-Hunting Method Succeeds at Last (28 May 2009) (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2168)

ToSeek
2010-Oct-01, 02:57 PM
Hum, honorstly didn't get that one. I can't find the argument why we can make discovery using the doppler-effect but not astronometry. If we can find a planet's mass with astronometry we should be able to detect it using astronometry. It is the same method used in both areas IFAIK :think:

I don't think anyone is saying it's impossible, just that it's a lot more difficult than the radial velocity method, and it's either not succeeded yet or only in a very few cases (see my previous post above). However, if the radial velocity method gives you the star to look at and the period to look for, that makes the astrometry a whole lot easier.

Hungry4info
2010-Oct-01, 07:24 PM
Has this one been retracted?: Planet-Hunting Method Succeeds at Last (28 May 2009) (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2168)

Yes. VB 10 b was not supported by radial velocity evidence with sufficient precision to have detected it, if it existed.
The Proposed Giant Planet Orbiting VB 10 Does Not Exist (http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/711/1/L19)

Astrometry is simply harder to do than radial velocity with the technology available. Some planets have been detected astrometrically (υ And system most notably) but radial velocity remains at the forefront between the two simply because it's easier to accomplish.

Sporally
2010-Oct-05, 03:23 AM
But i guess one of the differences and advantages in the long run (if the technology is there in the future) is that with RV you can only see it if the planets in the star system is in your LoS, whereas astrometry can still be measured if you're looking at a star with its planets being perpendicular of the LoS. The closer to perpendicular the star system is, the more astrometry comes into power since RV only measures the movement of the star in the LoS. Is this correct? Counting on soon understanding it correctly :)

ToSeek
2010-Oct-06, 06:20 PM
But i guess one of the differences and advantages in the long run (if the technology is there in the future) is that with RV you can only see it if the planets in the star system is in your LoS, whereas astrometry can still be measured if you're looking at a star with its planets being perpendicular of the LoS. The closer to perpendicular the star system is, the more astrometry comes into power since RV only measures the movement of the star in the LoS. Is this correct? Counting on soon understanding it correctly :)

RV can still work unless the planet's orbital plane is perpendicular to the LoS, though the closer it gets to perpendicular the harder it becomes. That's also why you'll see the mass of planets discovered by RV given by M sin i, where M is the actual mass and i is the orbital inclination relative to the perpendicular of the LoS: the smaller i is, the bigger M has to be for the planet to be detectable.

ngc3314
2010-Oct-06, 08:41 PM
Further issue - the linear accuracy of astrometry degrades directly with distance, while the limitations of radial velocity work are such that we can look for giant planets to hundreds of light-years (with large telescopes, the limitations don't get swamped by photon noise, but by other systematics including convection on the stellar surface). This could change with interferometry; a major issue in practice has been that astrometric barycentric motions are so easily swamped by systematic errors from the ground that there has been a string, decades long, of claimed astrometric detections which didn't pan out. Minimize those systematics, make the errors derivable from photon counts, increase the accuracy interferometrically, and that part of the game could change.

Sporally
2010-Oct-07, 08:26 PM
Ah, that way! What about astrometry. Will it be easier/harder or no change when you change the inclination? A thought experiment of mine says it doesn't matter about the inclination. So could this possibly be a detection method for the future to spot planets in star systems that RV can't detect (since it is too close to perpendicular of the LoS)?