Author Topic: NASA - Kepler updates  (Read 162642 times)

Offline jcm

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
  • Jonathan McDowell
  • Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
    • Jonathan's Space Report
  • Liked: 336
  • Likes Given: 289
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #220 on: 04/18/2013 06:48 PM »
Here's my writeup from my newsletter:
NASA has announced the discovery of Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f,  the
second and third Earth/super-Earth-sized planets found in the 'habitable zone' of
their parent star. (Most of my readers are currently on living the first
Earth-size planet found in its star's habitable zone). Kepler-62e is 1.6
Earth radii (Re) and Kepler-62f is only 1.4 Re. (In addition, a   
super-Venus, Kepler-69c, is reported.)

The Kepler space telescope is in a 0.98 x 1.05 AU x 0.5 deg solar orbit.
On Apr 18 it was trailing Earth by 25.2 deg at a distance of 3.7 minutes.

One of the challenges for Kepler is to confirm that its planet
candidates are really planets. Postdoc Francois Fressin developed the
Blender code to validate whether Kepler signals are planets or fakes
from a blend of eclipsing binary stars - this was first used to confirm
the 2.2-Earth-radius planet Kepler-10c in 2011. Fressin was also involved
in the discovery of the first Earth-sized Kepler planets.

The planet Kepler-22b, announced in Dec 2011, was the first transiting exoplanet
in its star's habitable zone but it is over twice the linear size of Earth
and may be a mini-Neptune class planet.

A paper submitted to Science with Kepler mission lead Bill Borucki
as first author reports analysis of a new Kepler system, Kepler-62,
with multiple planets including two Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone.
Fressin's analysis confirmed that the candidate planets were real.

Theorist Lisa Kaltenegger of Heidelberg has studied the extent of the
habitable zone around stars and the structure of the atmospheres of
Earths, super-Earths, waterworlds and mini-Neptunes. Kaltenegger's
paper, with Dimitar Sasselov and  grad student Sarah Rugheimer, shows
that Kepler-62e and 62f could be Type I ocean planets, waterworlds made
mostly of H2O. (Earth's *surface* is water but water is only 0.02
percent of Earth's total bulk mass).
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8021
  • UK
  • Liked: 1281
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #221 on: 04/18/2013 06:54 PM »
I don't know where the full press release has gone, every time I hit the link it said the page had been moved?

Offline jcm

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
  • Jonathan McDowell
  • Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
    • Jonathan's Space Report
  • Liked: 336
  • Likes Given: 289
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #222 on: 04/18/2013 07:04 PM »
I don't know where the full press release has gone, every time I hit the link it said the page had been moved?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-62-kepler-69.html

btw Chris, feel free to reuse anything in my rant above
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8021
  • UK
  • Liked: 1281
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #223 on: 04/18/2013 07:14 PM »
I don't know where the full press release has gone, every time I hit the link it said the page had been moved?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-62-kepler-69.html

btw Chris, feel free to reuse anything in my rant above

I am still getting the same page not found. ???

Offline A8-3

  • Member
  • Posts: 48
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 14
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #224 on: 04/18/2013 07:34 PM »
I don't know where the full press release has gone, every time I hit the link it said the page had been moved?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-62-kepler-69.html

btw Chris, feel free to reuse anything in my rant above

I am still getting the same page not found. ???


The link is working for me.

Offline John44

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3812
  • Netherlands
    • space-multimedia
  • Liked: 151
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #225 on: 04/18/2013 08:11 PM »

Offline Bubbinski

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #226 on: 04/19/2013 12:43 AM »
This is huge news.  Likely rocky world in habitable zone.  Next step would be to get future telescopes on line to get more data on its atmosphere and mass.  But that's for another board topic.

Congratulations Kepler!
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline robertross

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17772
  • Westphal, Nova Scotia
  • Liked: 440
  • Likes Given: 3279
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #227 on: 04/19/2013 12:53 AM »
This is huge news.  Likely rocky world in habitable zone.  Next step would be to get future telescopes on line to get more data on its atmosphere and mass.  But that's for another board topic.

Congratulations Kepler!

Indeed, quite a discovery. I congratulate the teams.

This is quite a spacecraft they built!
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Bubbinski

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #228 on: 04/19/2013 06:09 AM »
I suspect Kepler will be known as one of NASA's great robotic missions along with Hubble and the Voyagers.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline robertross

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17772
  • Westphal, Nova Scotia
  • Liked: 440
  • Likes Given: 3279
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #229 on: 04/19/2013 06:52 PM »
I like the beginning of CNN's story on this:

"(CNN) -- In the midst of chaos here on Earth, scientists are finding hope for life on other planets."


http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

Sad, but true. At least the bravery of others continues to show remarkable potential for our species, both in Boston & in Texas
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline SoCalEric

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
  • California
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #230 on: 04/22/2013 08:07 PM »
I like the beginning of CNN's story on this:

"(CNN) -- In the midst of chaos here on Earth, scientists are finding hope for life on other planets."


http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

Sad, but true. At least the bravery of others continues to show remarkable potential for our species, both in Boston & in Texas

Thanks for sharing!

Above, a journalist covering Kepler has Waco/Boston on his mind. Imagine, In wonder, if more journalists covering Waco/Boston had Kepler on their mind. What better world it migh be to see a NY Times general news section article begin, for example, with "In the midst of the recent 62's, here's how we're fairing today on earth with the either/or extremes of liberty vs security&regulation," where it would be redundantor even insulting to the reader to have to point out Teff for 62e vs 62f.

I sense that the journalist above is implying "if we humans are screwed, maybe some other species is doing better," which might evoke a natural sentiment of  "yeah, but at least some of us are inspirationally good."

I can't help but wonder if eventual knowledge of other cultures, or likihood thereof, might change general perception of earth chaos for the better. If most humans, for example, generally believed, for ever-increasing good reason, that there were many Wacos/Bostons going on right now on other worlds, each with is own quotients of bravery and other good things, would that shift to a more universal (larger) mindset make people here want to be or expect better?

I guess it's a completely separate question of whether people seing off-earth human colonies evolving would have the opposite effect, a kind of "dump earth / do better elsewhere" effect. That versus "humans can do better elsewhere --> they can do better anywhere --> they can do better here."

Back to the journalist's implication of non-chaos or less-chaos elsewhere, I've really grown to appreciate the time dimension for what it is. Venus-Earth-Mars, for example, as a trio 4bya vs 3bya vs 2bya, vs 1bya vs today. 2 million past years (?) of heightened glaciation cycles on earth recently and was it one or two snowball-earth periods within the past billion years... That sounds like a certain type of creative chaos, at some timescale, to me, which i wouldn't expect any other planetary systems to be immune from.

Anyay, as, a newbie here, I've appreciated all the good posts. I had one questions on Kepler. Forgive me if I've missed these somewhere earlier. (Some of these threads get very long).

(1) Has the Kepler team to date more or less released only about half the data collected? We're close on 3 years (?) = 12 quarters by now, but the most recent release was on the firs 6 (?) quarters? If that's even remotely correct, it seems like the biggest story would be about anticipation there, with 3 detections needed to trigger candidacy. Granted yellow stars are uncommon, if one was looking for "earthlike" planets of the type that had a period of about one earth year then that would require 3 years of data. I haven't notice at least mainstream coverage drawing attention to that.

(2) Astrosisemology. Wouldn't the Kepler team itself by now have standardized a data product that reports fourier star cycles for the stars ofmall KOI's? I've seen a few independent papers that have done this leading to, if nothing else, a ten fold reduction in uncertainty for diameter and mass, based on star mass constraints that the higher frequncy luminosity variations dictate.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2013 08:12 PM by SoCalEric »
Ad astrum, ad animus, ad ego.

Offline jcm

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
  • Jonathan McDowell
  • Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
    • Jonathan's Space Report
  • Liked: 336
  • Likes Given: 289
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #231 on: 04/23/2013 12:23 AM »
I like the beginning of CNN's story on this:

"(CNN) -- In the midst of chaos here on Earth, scientists are finding hope for life on other planets."


http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

Sad, but true. At least the bravery of others continues to show remarkable potential for our species, both in Boston & in Texas

Especially poignant as many of the coauthors on the discovery paper live in Cambridge and Watertown.
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline Bubbinski

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #232 on: 04/28/2013 06:46 AM »
Another potentially habitable planet found, Kepler 61b.  Potentially on the warm/hot side (avg. temp 40 deg C assuming earthlike atmosphere).  More info here, in this interesting article saying there are now 10 potentially habitable exoplanets:

http://phl.upr.edu/press-releases/tenpotentiallyhabitableexoplanetsnow
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #233 on: 05/15/2013 05:45 PM »

May 15, 2013
 
MEDIA ADVISORY : M13-078
 
NASA Hosts Kepler Spacecraft Status Teleconference Today
 
WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a news teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT, today, May 15, to discuss the status of the agency's Kepler Space Telescope.

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Launched in 2009, Kepler has been detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help scientists better understand our place in the galaxy.

The briefing participants are:
-- John Grunsfeld, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- Paul Hertz, astrophysics director, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- William Borucki, Kepler science principal investigator, Ames Research Center, Calif.
-- Charles Sobeck, deputy project manager, Ames Research Center, Calif.

For dial-in information, journalists should e-mail their name, affiliation and telephone number to J.D. Harrington at j.d.harrington@nasa.gov. Media representatives and the public also can questions via Twitter to #AskNASA.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA's website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio


For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/kepler



 
- end -

================================================================================

I am seeing rumors that Kepler has went into safe mode again and may well spell the end of its exoplanet hunting mission. Hope that this is not what happened.....  :'(
« Last Edit: 05/15/2013 06:34 PM by jacqmans »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online jebbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 321
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 69
  • Likes Given: 61
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #234 on: 05/15/2013 07:31 PM »
I am seeing rumors that Kepler has went into safe mode again and may well spell the end of its exoplanet hunting mission. Hope that this is not what happened.....  :'(

Doesn't sound good. I suspect the dodgy reaction wheel has died. If so it is sadly the end of the primary mission:-(

Online jebbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 321
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 69
  • Likes Given: 61
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #235 on: 05/15/2013 09:11 PM »
Doesn't sound good. I suspect the dodgy reaction wheel has died. If so it is sadly the end of the primary mission:-(

Entered Point Rest safe mode after loss of pointing accuracy.  Reaction wheel 4 has stalled and won't restart, so likely the end of exoplanet data gathering.  Still lots of analysis to do though.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3771
  • Liked: 473
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #236 on: 05/15/2013 09:34 PM »
So what kind of redundancy does Kepler have for its reaction wheel system?

Is there a potential case for adding more redundancy for this in future similar spacecraft?

Offline Nickolai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
  • Liked: 16
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #237 on: 05/15/2013 09:48 PM »
So what kind of redundancy does Kepler have for its reaction wheel system?

Is there a potential case for adding more redundancy for this in future similar spacecraft?

From http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1304/11kepler/#.UZQBd7WG3TA

Quote
One of the mission's four reaction wheels stopped working last year, and officials are worried another wheel could fail at any time. Three wheels are needed to keep the observatory pointed toward a field of stars looking for signs of planets.
That was on April 11,2013, so clearly the one that managers were concerned about has failed.

AFAIK, these reaction wheels are pretty bulky, so as far as redundancy goes they put in just one spare, which in this case bought them a year of extra time.

You can always make the case for more wheels/more redundancy but in the end there's a number of constraints. Cost, schedule, weight, complexity, reliability. A better approach for future spacecraft would probably be to learn what happened to these reaction wheels and make future ones more reliable.

Just my 2 cents :)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8021
  • UK
  • Liked: 1281
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #238 on: 05/15/2013 10:04 PM »
Sorry to hear this.

I thought it was possible to still do some science with just the two wheels working?

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6633
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 136
Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #239 on: 05/15/2013 10:17 PM »
Doesn't sound good. I suspect the dodgy reaction wheel has died. If so it is sadly the end of the primary mission:-(

Entered Point Rest safe mode after loss of pointing accuracy.  Reaction wheel 4 has stalled and won't restart, so likely the end of exoplanet data gathering.  Still lots of analysis to do though.

There was talk, at one point, of restarting the first one that was shut down.  I don't know if that's on the list or not.

Tags: updates