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The Kepler Mission


mettalfabrik
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Posted
  • Location: East Coast Canada
  • Location: East Coast Canada

    Yes, this should be very interesting over the next three years. Evidently it will be looking at 100,000 stars.

    It also has quite a sensitive CCD for measuring light levels of stars.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    Yes, I believe the Kepler mission will provide major breakthroughs in exoplanet discovery, particularly the discovery of extra-solar terrestrial planets...To date, I believe, that there have been over 300 dicoveries of exoplanets, but the vast majority being gas giants, yet the discovery of terrestrial sized exoplanets Giliese 581B and Giliese 581C orbiting within their stars' habitable zone give a tantilising prospect of numerous earth size planet discoveries in the next few years...Exciting times!

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    Just an update ,looks like the launch is for 10.48 EST on 6 th feb thats in the small hours UK time .live on nasa tv

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

    there is a pre launch press conferance on nasa tv which was interesting repeated several times tonight

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html

    and finally a mission overview from the united launch alliance ,the manufactures of the vehicle

    http://www.ulalaunch.com/launch/Kepler/FINAL_MOB_Kepler.pdf

    hope it goes better than the CO2 measuring sat that blew up last week on take off!

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    Posted
  • Location: East Coast Canada
  • Location: East Coast Canada

    Certainly keeping my fingers crossed this gets up OK, and functions well for the time frame.

    It could well provide some accurate numbers to plug into the Drake Equation.

    We might actually get some kind of 'handle' on the numbers of earth like planets that orbit in the 'Goldie Locks' zone of their stars (suns).

    If all goes well this could provide to be quite interesting over the next several years.

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    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    hi waveform, as a matter of interest i,ve been trying to find out the galactic latitudes\longitudes of keplers search field and if they kind of match the deduced lat\lon of the celebrated wow signal ,i just wondered if you might be able to find out

    http://www.bigear.org/Wow30th/wow30th.htm

    cheers

    bryan

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    Posted
  • Location: East Coast Canada
  • Location: East Coast Canada

    Hi Bryan,

    Had to dig up some corroborates of the WOW signal. I knew the region it came from but not right down to the pinpoint.

    Anyway, the WOW signal originated at RA 19h 23m 22s. Dec -27° 03" 20'. Epoch 1950.0

    This puts it in the constellation Sagittarius just at the end of the 'tea pot handle'.

    Keplar will be looking at a larger region of the sky. They have it divided up into squares. More or less boarding RA 20h 00 00 to RA 18h 00 00, Dec +30° 00 to Dec +50° 00.

    This puts it to the left of Vega in the constellation Lyra and to the right of constellation Cygnus.

    So there is quite a difference in the locations.

    I think they may have chosen that part of the sky because it has quite a few star the same class as our sun. Also they are able to pack something like 100,000 stars into look at, in that area.

    Looking into Sagittarius is looking toward the center of the galaxy. Probably not the best choice for something of this nature.

    LOL, would have been sort of neat though if the WOW event had happened in the area.

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    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    cheers for the swift reply mate, yeah it would have been neat if it had been in the same neighbourhood as keplers search

    any way lets hope the launch goes ok

    bryan

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    just an update from http://kepler.nasa.gov/

    2009 April 7 NEWS RELEASE: 2009-065 - DUST COVER JETTISONED FROM NASA'S KEPLER TELESCOPE

    Excerpt: Engineers have successfully ejected the dust cover from NASA's Kepler telescope, a spaceborne mission soon to begin searching for worlds like Earth.

    "The cover released and flew away exactly as we designed it to do," said Kepler Project Manager James Fanson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This is a critical step toward answering a question that has come down to us across 100 generations of human history -- are there other planets like Earth, or are we alone in the galaxy?"

    ..."Now the photometer can see the stars and will soon start the task of detecting the planets," said Kepler's Science Principal Investigator William Borucki at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "We have thoroughly measured the background noise so that our photometer can detect minute changes in a star's brightness caused by planets."

    At 7:13 p.m. PDT on April 7, engineers at Kepler's mission operations center at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, Colo., sent commands to pass an electrical current through a "burn wire" to break the wire and release a latch holding the cover closed. The spring-loaded cover swung open on a fly-away hinge, before drifting away from the spacecraft. The cover is now in its own orbit around the sun, similar to Kepler's sun-centric orbit. See an animation [med-res -|- low-res]....

    With the cover off, starlight is entering the photometer and being imaged onto its focal plane. Engineers will continue calibrating the instrument using images of stars for another several weeks, after which science observations will begin.

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    just catching up with the news on kepler

    PASADENA, Calif. -- EXCERPT: 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: [project website; NASA portal; JPL Photojournal]

    "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 region contains an estimated 4.5 million 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."

    ...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.

    see FULL RELEASE

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    • 8 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    The Kepler mission is going great guns....5 new exo-planets discovered this week alone....news link....A fantastic development, I believe over 300 exo-planets discovered so far in 22 extra-solar solar systems!

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    • 8 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    another 2 exo-planets discovered in the Gliese 581 star system. The planets have been designated Gliese 581f & 581g.........581f is outside its parent star's habitable zone, but it appears that 581g is right in the middle of the 'goldilocks' zone....Whats more exciting is that 581g is estimated to be only 3-4 earth masses with an estimated 1.2 - 1.4 earth diameters, making it the most earth-like planet discovered to date....Don't expect any probes being launched to visit it though, as even though it's in our neighbourhood in astronomical terms, 20.5 light years, that equates to over 120 trillion miles!

    It should be noted that this discovery was not made by the Kepler Mission, rather by the parent star's radial velocity (the star's movements due to the gravitational tug from orbiting planets)...I just thought that this was the most appropriate thread

    Edited by ajpoolshark
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    • 4 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    latest update could be interesting!!

    Trent J. Perrotto

    Headquarters, Washington

    202-358-0321

    trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov

    Jan. 27, 2011 MEDIA ADVISORY : 11-020 NASA To Announce New Planetary Discoveries WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Feb. 2, to announce the Kepler mission's latest findings about planets outside our solar system. The briefing will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

    Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be needed over time to achieve that milestone, Kepler is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    *update*

    great news from NASA, over 1200 exoplanet candidates, including 54 within their parent star's habitable zone.....Seems just a matter of time before it discovers an earth analogue (we might already be there if Gliese 581g verifies!).......Now we just need President Obama to blow the cobwebs off his wallet and grant funding for TPF.........On a side note, I believe an earth analogue discovery would be the catalyst for some serious space craft alternative propulsion funding such as nuclear fusion & anti-matter research to actually give us the chance of launching missions to an earth analogue in our lifetime

    space.com news link

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    Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

    Five potential Earth twins with conditions capable of supporting life have been discovered orbiting Sun-like stars.

    Other planet candidates identified by American space agency Nasa's new Kepler space telescope could have life-bearing moons.

    Astronomers also confirmed the existence of a six-planet solar system centred on a Sun-like star named Kepler-11.

    The wealth of observation data has amazed scientists and greatly boosted the chances of life evolving beyond the Earth.

    Nasa administrator and former astronaut Charles Boden said: "In one generation we have gone from extraterrestrial planets being a mainstay of science fiction to the present, where Kepler has helped turn science fiction into today's reality."

    The latest batch of Kepler data identified what are believed to be several hundred new planets orbiting distant stars.

    Of these, 54 sit within the habitable or "Goldilocks zone" - the region just the right distance from the parent star to allow conditions that are not too hot and not too cold for liquid surface water and life to exist.

    Five of the candidate planets, yet to be verified by follow-up observations, are near-Earth sized. They are likely to be small, rocky planets with atmospheres and possibly oceans and rivers of flowing water, and any or all of them could be places where primitive or advanced life exists.

    The remaining 49 habitable-zone candidates range from "super-Earth" worlds up to twice the size of Earth to planets bigger than Jupiter.

    -

    Betting book is now open :-

    -

    What religion will their life forms be..?

    What Political Ideology will be dominant..?

    Will they talk about the weather.....?

    Will they have IPods........and...why...?

    Will they be engrossed in "Carbon Trading"....?

    Will they fly away for two weeks each year.....and why...?

    Do they have a penchant for....sausages.....?

    Do they enjoy "breeding" or is it just something that has to be done.....?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    Five potential Earth twins with conditions capable of supporting life have been discovered orbiting Sun-like stars.

    Can you post a link for that please Ali....The reason I ask is that to quote space.com..."And that's the pattern in the 54 potential planets — including the five that are around Earth's size — that Kepler found in their stars' habitable zones. The host stars are cooler than our own sun, and their habitable zones are thus closer in — which is where the planets are found."

    This infers the parents stars are either K class dwarfs or red dwarfs (M class)...The problem then lies in the phrase "earth twin"...Any 'goldilocks' planets orbiting these stars will orbit so close in, they'll almost certainly be tidally locked, meaning one side of the planet bathed in perpetual sun-light, the night side permemantly in the freezer...Primitive life would be a possibility, I would guess, but the climates would be very harsh, perhaps a narrow temperate climate belt straddling the planets...Also a big issue with red dwarfs is that the majority are 'flare' stars, the exoplanets would be subject to periods of intense solar radiation, but, long term, the prospects of complex life on one of these stars is good due to the sheer longievety of these stars (up to 14 trillion years).....thus by definition, not an earth twin.....A K class star would be better (ideally G of F class) as the habitable zone would probably be just far enough out from the star to allow any exoplanet within the habitable zone not to be tidally locked....

    The better candidates for life in an M or K class star solar system would definitely be perhaps a mars or earth sized moon orbiting a super earth or Jovian sized exoplanet within the goldilocks zone, as they would be gravitationally bound to the planet and wouldn't be tidally locked to the parent star

    Edited by ajpoolshark
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    Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

    Can you post a link for that please Ali....

    Hi AJ - it was released by the press association on Thu Feb 3.....

    http-~~-//news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=156039112

    Edited by MKsnowangel
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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    Hi AJ - it was released by the press association on Thu Feb 3.....

    http-~~-//news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=156039112

    Thanks Ali :)

    As I suspected, MSN claim those planets orbit sun-like stars, Space.com claim they orbit stars cooler than our sun, hence my inference of tidally locked, non-earth anologues, but still just the simple fact that we have 54 candidate exoplanets in their parent star's habitable zone is incredibly exciting!.........space.com did an interview with Kepler mission specialist Bill Borucki just after the NASA announcement, and makes for a very informative read.....interview link here

    Kepler 11 is an astonishing discovery as well, a confirmed 6 planet system, all six are terrestrial planets orbiting a sun-like (spectral class G2) star, none of the six are in the goldilocks zone (they all orbit inside a Mercury sized orbit) but it's remarkable as to how these small planets have formed so close in, did they indeed form so close, or have they migrated from further out? are they tidally bound to the parent star and spiralling into their parent star??...just a couple of possible questions that need to be answered

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    Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

    ........space.com did an interview with Kepler mission specialist Bill Borucki just after the NASA announcement, and makes for a very informative read.

    Wow, it's all really exciting especially the Kepler 11 stuff, the interview with BB was indeed very interesting and space.com's questions were much more sensible than my 'tongue in cheek' ones ! It's amazing they have discovered so much in the first few months, I wonder what will have been found by the end of the mission in 2012.

    The space.com website also answered something I have always wanted to know .....how do Astronauts go to the bathroom in space ?

    NASA's space toilet technique training video is a must see.. as I thought positioning is all important !!

    http-~~-//www.space.com/10168-space-toilet-technique-nasa-video.html

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    Posted
  • Location: Rugby, Warks
  • Weather Preferences: Dangerous
  • Location: Rugby, Warks

    Hi AJ,

    Just wondering if you are a member of the space.com forum. It seems to have been down for quite some time now which is a real shame.

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    Posted
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL

    Hi AJ,

    Just wondering if you are a member of the space.com forum. It seems to have been down for quite some time now which is a real shame.

    Over three weeks now. Problems started when the Techmedia Group (owners) decided it was a good idea to force registration and logging on to the new upgraded site, exclusively via forced link with a social media site. i.e. forcing membership of facebook, myspace, bigg etc. Ostensibly this was to offer a 'richer' media experience but cynically most agree it is an attempt to generate more traffic and free publicity by exploiting data mining.

    The whole policy backfired with many long standing members rejecting the imposition as a potential gross invasion of privacy and elimination of choice.

    Hence the forums are undergoing some kind of reversion and are down whilst this is completed.

    I fear the damage to reputation and loyalty is already done. The longer it goes on, the less likely people are to return. We shall see.

    ffO.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rugby, Warks
  • Weather Preferences: Dangerous
  • Location: Rugby, Warks

    Thanks for clearing that up, FFO. Hopefully things will return to normal soon.

    I do miss reading through the excellent threads on various missions. Particularly the Cassini and Keper discussion.

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    Posted
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL

    Thanks for clearing that up, FFO. Hopefully things will return to normal soon.

    I do miss reading through the excellent threads on various missions. Particularly the Cassini and Keper discussion.

    This was a reply from Techmedia to a comment I made on NetWeather, seems they follow us on here too!

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Your comments are quite detailed and will be very helpful to our developers as they troubleshoot some of the remaining glitches in the system.

    With respect to our new Login system, I'm in charge of both Search and Social Media, and I'm afraid that was my idea. I can tell you that the reason for using Gigya for this had nothing to do with data mining at all. (In fact, I hadn't even considered it until you mentioned it.) Our goal was / is to make the web site "more social" and after some research, it was determined that the best way to do that was to allow people to log in using whatever social media IDs that they already had.

    Thanks again for your comments. We hope you will continue to be an avid space.com reader.

    Eric Richmond

    VP, Search and Social Media

    TechMediaNetwork

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    Posted
  • Location: Rugby, Warks
  • Weather Preferences: Dangerous
  • Location: Rugby, Warks

    This was a reply from Techmedia to a comment I made on NetWeather, seems they follow us on here too!

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Your comments are quite detailed and will be very helpful to our developers as they troubleshoot some of the remaining glitches in the system.

    With respect to our new Login system, I'm in charge of both Search and Social Media, and I'm afraid that was my idea. I can tell you that the reason for using Gigya for this had nothing to do with data mining at all. (In fact, I hadn't even considered it until you mentioned it.) Our goal was / is to make the web site "more social" and after some research, it was determined that the best way to do that was to allow people to log in using whatever social media IDs that they already had.

    Thanks again for your comments. We hope you will continue to be an avid space.com reader.

    Eric Richmond

    VP, Search and Social Media

    TechMediaNetwork

    Hmmm...not overly optimistic that an agreement will be reached soon then, reflecting on them comments.

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