Author Topic: NASA - Kepler updates  (Read 169113 times)

Offline stockman

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #140 on: 12/20/2011 06:26 PM »
for reference.
One Percent for Space!!!

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #141 on: 12/21/2011 04:46 AM »
They've got someone who's listed as the "director of the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington" as a presenter - maybe they've found an earth sized planet?

The wonderfully idiosyncratic name of the department is just a historical artifact, like the Jet Propulsion Lab.

Offline hop

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #142 on: 12/21/2011 05:09 AM »
The Kepler 20 e+f paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.4550

Also a nice writeup on the planetery society blog: http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003309/

Edit: and a paper about the entire Kepler 20 system http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.4514
« Last Edit: 12/22/2011 04:50 AM by hop »

Offline Hungry4info3

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #143 on: 12/24/2011 02:15 AM »
NASA Telescopes Help Find Rare Galaxy at Dawn of Time

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-392

Kepler relation?

Offline racshot65

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #144 on: 12/24/2011 10:03 AM »
NASA Telescopes Help Find Rare Galaxy at Dawn of Time

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-392

Kepler relation?

Sorry, wrong thread I've deleted the post

Online jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #145 on: 01/11/2012 07:56 PM »
RELEASE: 12-013

NASA'S KEPLER MISSION FINDS THREE SMALLEST EXOPLANETS

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission have
discovered the three smallest planets yet detected orbiting a star
beyond our sun. The planets orbit a single star, called KOI-961, and
are 0.78, 0.73 and 0.57 times the radius of Earth. The smallest is
about the size of Mars.

All three planets are thought to be rocky like Earth, but orbit close
to their star. That makes them too hot to be in the habitable zone,
which is the region where liquid water could exist. Of the more than
700 planets confirmed to orbit other stars -- called exoplanets --
only a handful are known to be rocky.

"Astronomers are just beginning to confirm thousands of planet
candidates uncovered by Kepler so far," said Doug Hudgins, Kepler
program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Finding one as
small as Mars is amazing, and hints that there may be a bounty of
rocky planets all around us."

Kepler searches for planets by continuously monitoring more than
150,000 stars, looking for telltale dips in their brightness caused
by crossing, or transiting, planets. At least three transits are
required to verify a signal as a planet. Follow-up observations from
ground-based telescopes also are needed to confirm the discoveries.

The latest discovery comes from a team led by astronomers at the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The team used data
publicly released by the Kepler mission, along with follow-up
observations from the Palomar Observatory, near San Diego, and the
W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Their measurements
dramatically revised the sizes of the planets from what originally
was estimated.

The three planets are very close to their star, taking less than two
days to orbit around it. The KOI-961 star is a red dwarf with a
diameter one-sixth that of our sun, making it just 70 percent bigger
than Jupiter.

"This is the tiniest solar system found so far," said John Johnson,
the principal investigator of the research from NASA's Exoplanet
Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena. "It's actually more similar to Jupiter and its moons in
scale than any other planetary system. The discovery is further proof
of the diversity of planetary systems in our galaxy."

Red dwarfs are the most common kind of star in our Milky Way galaxy.
The discovery of three rocky planets around one red dwarf suggests
that the galaxy could be teeming with similar rocky planets.

"These types of systems could be ubiquitous in the universe," said
Phil Muirhead, lead author of the new study from Caltech. "This is a
really exciting time for planet hunters."

The discovery follows a string of recent milestones for the Kepler
mission. In December 2011, scientists announced the mission's first
confirmed planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star: a planet
2.4 times the size of Earth called Kepler-22b. Later in the month,
the team announced the discovery of the first Earth-size planets
orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system, called Kepler-20e
and Kepler-20f.

For the latest discovery, the team obtained the sizes of the three
planets called KOI-961.01, KOI-961.02 and KOI-961.03 with the help of
a well-studied twin star to KOI-961, or Barnard's Star. By better
understanding the KOI-961 star, they then could determine how big the
planets must be to have caused the observed dips in starlight. In
addition to the Kepler observations and ground-based telescope
measurements, the team used modeling techniques to confirm the planet
discoveries.

Prior to these confirmed planets, only six other planets had been
confirmed using the Kepler public data.

NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages Kepler's
ground system development, mission operations and science data
analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., managed
the Kepler mission's development.

For information about the Kepler Mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/kepler


Offline TheFallen

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #146 on: 01/11/2012 08:15 PM »
Don't forget this:

NASA Discovers New Double-Star Planet Systems

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-34-35.html

Offline edlassoto

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #147 on: 01/13/2012 02:21 PM »
What is the best category to use to discuss exoplanet discoveries?

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #148 on: 01/13/2012 02:23 PM »
Merged into here, Edlassato ;)

Offline edlassoto

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #149 on: 01/13/2012 03:24 PM »
The Kepler telescope is discovering many planets by searching for changes in a star's brightness when a planet transits across the face of a star. However, with that method of observing planets, we cannot see any of the details of the planet. While Kepler may not be powerful enough to see details of the planet, maybe future telescopes, such as James Webb will. To see the details it will have to see the bright side of the planet, so it will have to see the planets while they are on the far side of the star. To do that they can use solar occlusion so that the light from the star will not interfere with the light from the planet. The diagram below shows how it could work.

Offline simonbp

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #150 on: 01/14/2012 05:15 AM »
Short of a major change in funding, the external occulter for JWST is dead as doormat. It's still possible to have a specific occulter mission (on a Discovery-class budget), but it won't be paired with JWST.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #151 on: 01/14/2012 05:50 AM »
Short of a major change in funding, the external occulter for JWST is dead as doormat. It's still possible to have a specific occulter mission (on a Discovery-class budget), but it won't be paired with JWST.
Wait, why won't it be paired with JWST? You mean an occulter with its own dedicated telescope?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline edlassoto

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #152 on: 01/16/2012 12:51 PM »
They want to deploy an external occulter as a separate satellite, so it would be extremely expensive($1billion+). Hopefully they will find another technique that is much cheaper. We are still in the midst of the digital imaging revelution. Maybe in a few years they will have some super-cameras that will be able to capture things better.

Offline edlassoto

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #153 on: 01/19/2012 03:44 PM »


Based on this article it looks like there will be a coronagraph mask on the JWST.

http://www.stsci.edu/jwst/instruments/nircam/instrumentdesign/operations/#coronagraphy

Offline Hungry4info3

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #154 on: 01/19/2012 06:40 PM »
Based on this article it looks like there will be a coronagraph mask on the JWST.
Yes, but that's not quite the same. The coronograph needed for imaging "normal" extrasolar planets needs to have a very small angular diameter (achieved by having it free-flying and separated from JWST), and shaped in a very particular way to prevent light from being bent around the edges back into the telescope.
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/25276

The physics are similar to what you pointed out, but this is a much more extreme case and additional effects need to be taken into account here.

Online jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #155 on: 01/26/2012 07:28 PM »
News release: 2012-026                                                                     Jan. 26, 2012

NASA's Kepler Announces 11 New Planetary Systems

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-026&cid=release_2012-026

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered 11 new planetary systems hosting 26 confirmed planets. These discoveries nearly double the number of verified Kepler planets and triple the number of stars known to have more than one planet that transits, or passes in front of, the star. Such systems will help astronomers better understand how planets form.

The planets orbit close to their host stars and range in size from 1.5 times the radius of Earth to larger than Jupiter. Fifteen are between Earth and Neptune in size. Further observations will be required to determine which are rocky like Earth and which have thick gaseous atmospheres like Neptune. The planets orbit their host star once every six to 143 days. All are closer to their host star than Venus is to our sun.

"Prior to the Kepler mission, we knew of perhaps 500 exoplanets across the whole sky," said Doug Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Now, in just two years staring at a patch of sky not much bigger than your fist, Kepler has discovered more than 60 planets and more than 2,300 planet candidates. This tells us that our galaxy is positively loaded with planets of all sizes and orbits."

Kepler identifies planet candidates by repeatedly measuring the change in brightness of more than 150,000 stars to detect when a planet passes in front of the star. That passage casts a small shadow toward Earth and the Kepler spacecraft.

"Confirming that the small decrease in the star's brightness is due to a planet requires additional observations and time-consuming analysis," said Eric Ford, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Florida and lead author of the paper confirming Kepler-23 and Kepler-24. "We verified these planets using new techniques that dramatically accelerated their discovery."

Each of the newly confirmed planetary systems contains two to five closely spaced transiting planets. In tightly packed planetary systems, the gravitational pull of the planets on each other causes some planets to accelerate and some to decelerate along their orbits. The acceleration causes the orbital period of each planet to change. Kepler detects this effect by measuring the changes, or so-called Transit Timing Variations.

Planetary systems with Transit Timing Variations can be verified without requiring extensive ground-based observations, accelerating confirmation of planet candidates. This detection technique also increases Kepler's ability to confirm planetary systems around fainter and more distant stars.

"By precisely timing when each planet transits its star, Kepler detected the gravitational tug of the planets on each other, clinching the case for 10 of the newly announced planetary systems," said Dan Fabrycky, Hubble Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lead author for a paper confirming Kepler-29, 30, 31 and 32.

Five of the systems (Kepler-25, Kepler-27, Kepler-30, Kepler-31 and Kepler-33) contain a pair of planets where the inner planet orbits the star twice during each orbit of the outer planet. Four of the systems (Kepler-23, Kepler-24, Kepler-28 and Kepler-32) contain a pairing where the outer planet circles the star twice for every three times the inner planet orbits its star.

"These configurations help to amplify the gravitational interactions between the planets, similar to how my sons kick their legs on a swing at the right time to go higher," said Jason Steffen, the Brinson postdoctoral fellow at Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics in Batavia, Ill., and lead author of a paper confirming Kepler-25, 26, 27 and 28.

Kepler-33, a star that is older and more massive than our sun, had the most planets. The system hosts five planets, ranging in size from 1.5 to 5 times that of Earth. All of the planets are located closer to their star than any planet is to our sun.

The properties of a star provide clues for planet detection. The decrease in the star's brightness and duration of a planet transit combined with the properties of its host star present a recognizable signature. When astronomers detect planet candidates that exhibit similar signatures around the same star, the likelihood of any of these planet candidates being a false positive is very low.

"The approach used to verify the Kepler-33 planets shows the overall reliability is quite high," said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and lead author of the paper on Kepler-33. "This is a validation by multiplicity."

These discoveries are published in four different papers in the Astrophysical Journal and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission's development.

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

For more information about the Kepler mission and to view the digital press kit, visit http://www.nasa.gov/kepler . More information about exoplanets and NASA's planet-finding program is at http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov .

Offline TheFallen

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #156 on: 01/30/2012 12:58 AM »
Don't let the copying and pasting above diminish the impact of last week's awesome news: Kepler's planet count has jumped from 35 to 61 alien worlds officially discovered by the space telescope! Nice... :)
« Last Edit: 01/30/2012 01:03 AM by TheFallen »

Offline racshot65

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #157 on: 02/08/2012 12:39 PM »
Astronaut and Former Kepler Science Office Director Janice Voss Remembered

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/remembering-voss.html

Offline racshot65

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #158 on: 02/11/2012 10:02 AM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #159 on: 03/10/2012 10:31 AM »
NASA's Kepler Mission Wins Aviation Week Award

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-065

Tags: updates