Author Topic: NASA - Kepler updates  (Read 169029 times)

Offline jcm

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #40 on: 08/25/2010 05:32 AM »
  Also, it's very interesting that one of the scientists mentioned in the press release studies terrestrial magnetism......I'm waiting for Thursday!

No... the place Alycia works at is called the "Department of Terrestrial Magnetism" (part of the Carnegie foundation) but it has long had a group of astronomers who study things that are nothing to do with magnetism, terrestrial or otherwise. In fact I am not sure there's anyone at DTM doing geomagnetism nowadays. DTM is probably most famous to astronomers as the home of Vera Rubin, pioneer in dark matter studies. Alycia is an expert in circumstellar disks. among other things.
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #41 on: 08/26/2010 05:17 PM »
Star with 2 (or possibly 3) planets found by Kepler:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/two_planet_orbit.html
« Last Edit: 08/26/2010 05:20 PM by yg1968 »

Offline TheFallen

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #42 on: 08/26/2010 06:09 PM »
DARN the Europeans for discovering a better solar system!

Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #43 on: 08/26/2010 06:55 PM »
RELEASE: 10-197

NASA'S KEPLER MISSION DISCOVERS TWO PLANETS TRANSITING SAME STAR

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first
confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in
front of, or transiting, the same star.

The transit signatures of two distinct planets were seen in the data
for the sun-like star designated Kepler-9. The planets were named
Kepler-9b and 9c. The discovery incorporates seven months of
observations of more than 156,000 stars as part of an ongoing search
for Earth-sized planets outside our solar system. The findings will
be published in Thursday's issue of the journal Science.

Kepler's ultra-precise camera measures tiny decreases in the stars'
brightness that occur when a planet transits them. The size of the
planet can be derived from these temporary dips.

The distance of the planet from the star can be calculated by
measuring the time between successive dips as the planet orbits the
star. Small variations in the regularity of these dips can be used to
determine the masses of planets and detect other non-transiting
planets in the system.

In June, mission scientists submitted findings for peer review that
identified more than 700 planet candidates in the first 43 days of
Kepler data. The data included five additional candidate systems that
appear to exhibit more than one transiting planet. The Kepler team
recently identified a sixth target exhibiting multiple transits and
accumulated enough follow-up data to confirm this multi-planet
system.

"Kepler's high quality data and round-the-clock coverage of transiting
objects enable a whole host of unique measurements to be made of the
parent stars and their planetary systems," said Doug Hudgins, the
Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Scientists refined the estimates of the masses of the planets using
observations from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The
observations show Kepler-9b is the larger of the two planets, and
both have masses similar to but less than Saturn. Kepler-9b lies
closest to the star with an orbit of about 19 days, while Kepler-9c
has an orbit of about 38 days. By observing several transits by each
planet over the seven months of data, the time between successive
transits could be analyzed.

"This discovery is the first clear detection of significant changes in
the intervals from one planetary transit to the next, what we call
transit timing variations," said Matthew Holman, a Kepler mission
scientist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in
Cambridge, Mass. "This is evidence of the gravitational interaction
between the two planets as seen by the Kepler spacecraft."

In addition to the two confirmed giant planets, Kepler scientists also
have identified what appears to be a third, much smaller transit
signature in the observations of Kepler-9. That signature is
consistent with the transits of a super-Earth-sized planet about 1.5
times the radius of Earth in a scorching, near-sun 1.6 day-orbit.
Additional observations are required to determine whether this signal
is indeed a planet or an astronomical phenomenon that mimics the
appearance of a transit.

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 in Pasadena, Calif.,
managed Kepler mission 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 the Kepler science data.

For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

Offline John44

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #44 on: 08/26/2010 09:02 PM »
NASA Media Briefing - new findings from the Kepler Telescope - Aug. 26
http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6118

Offline Space Pete

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #45 on: 08/26/2010 10:32 PM »
NASA TV Video: "First Multi-Planet System Discovered by Kepler".

« Last Edit: 08/26/2010 10:33 PM by Space Pete »
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Offline simonbp

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #47 on: 08/27/2010 03:59 AM »
Apparently, this leaked yesterday as a single line:

O . 0 0

Offline yg1968

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Offline KSC Engineer

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #49 on: 08/27/2010 04:42 PM »
I guess this means we are no longer the center of the Universe or a least a good indication of that.  Darn - it was fun thinking we were the big shots.  My friends in Boston still believe they are the center of the Universe so this may hurt their egos as some point. 

Offline racshot65

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Offline ratman

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #51 on: 08/27/2010 07:19 PM »
Excellent summary, great job.

Quote
This area of observation yields approximately 156,000 stars ...
In fact, the odds of Kepler detecting a terrestrial planet in or near the habitable zone of an observed star are 1 in 210. This means that if every star Kepler observed contained an Earth-like, terrestrial planet that orbited its parent star at roughly the same distance as Earth orbits the sun (and if that terrestrial planet was similar in size to Earth) Kepler would detect a total of 480 terrestrial planets in its three and a half year mission.

Er... 156,000/210 ~ 743   ;)

Perhaps the following explanation is missing ?
Quote
Because grazing transits are not easily detected, those with a duration less than half of a central transit are ignored.
http://kepler.nasa.gov/Science/characteristicsOfTransits/

« Last Edit: 08/27/2010 07:37 PM by ratman »

Offline robertross

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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #53 on: 08/27/2010 11:57 PM »
Agreed! Good article. I look forward to more of these sorts of excellent articles!
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #54 on: 08/28/2010 05:53 AM »
Quote
This area of observation yields approximately 156,000 stars ...
In fact, the odds of Kepler detecting a terrestrial planet in or near the habitable zone of an observed star are 1 in 210. This means that if every star Kepler observed contained an Earth-like, terrestrial planet that orbited its parent star at roughly the same distance as Earth orbits the sun (and if that terrestrial planet was similar in size to Earth) Kepler would detect a total of 480 terrestrial planets in its three and a half year mission.

It's just a tad unfair building expectation like that without clarification, this obviously won't happen because It's highly unlikely earth-size planets in the habitable zone are present around most or even the majority of stars.

For a better idea of how many Kepler can expect to find,

http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=673

Quote
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.

I have a funny feeling even if Kepler finds 100 we'll still get "Kepler finds less earth's than expected"  ::) 
« Last Edit: 08/28/2010 05:59 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline jcm

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #55 on: 08/29/2010 10:25 PM »
I guess this means we are no longer the center of the Universe or a least a good indication of that.  Darn - it was fun thinking we were the big shots.  My friends in Boston still believe they are the center of the Universe so this may hurt their egos as some point. 

That's "hub of the Universe", if you please!
In relativity, Harvard Square is a perfectly valid choice of coordinate origin ;-)   (we recall the quote, I think from Einstein: time is what stops everything happening at once; space is what stops everything happening in Cambridge.)
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #56 on: 08/31/2010 08:49 PM »
This is very exciting. It seems to me that it's a statistical near-certainty that an Earth-like planet (i.e. Earth-like radius and mass and in the habitable zone) will be found in the next three years (and possibly within the next year or so!). The sheer numbers of Kepler ensures that something like that will be found soon.




In fact, there's a very, very good chance that a planet will be found in the Alpha Centauri system! Whether or not it will be habitable remains to be seen............... (Of course, Kepler won't answer this question, at least not directly.)
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #57 on: 10/04/2010 06:48 PM »
RELEASE: 10-245

NASA'S KEPLER MISSION WINS 2010 SOFTWARE OF THE YEAR AWARD

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler mission Science Operations Center software
system was named winner of the 2010 NASA Software of the Year Award
by the NASA Software Advisory Panel.

Designed, developed and operated by the Kepler Science Operations
Center (SOC) at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.,
the SOC software system is used to find Earth-size planets using
photometric data acquired from the Kepler spacecraft.
The SOC software system is a suite of 22 custom-designed tools for
processing, analyzing, and storing transit photometry and engineering
data for the Kepler Mission. The Kepler mission is the first NASA
mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the "habitable
zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist
on the surface of the orbiting planet.

Kepler is a space observatory that looks for the data signatures of
planets by measuring tiny decreases in stars' brightness when planets
cross in front of, or transit them. The size of the planet can be
derived from the change in the star's brightness.

On June 15, the Kepler mission released data that could double the
amount of known planets outside of the solar system. Of the 165,000
stars that the Kepler mission has been monitoring for planetary
transits, approximately 750 of them reveal planetary candidates. All
of these discoveries were made possible by the SOC software system
and the team that developed and manages it.

"Their outstanding work has made a significant and lasting
contribution to Ames' technology
development portfolio and to NASA's leadership in astronomical
research," said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. "I am absolutely
delighted that the NASA Kepler Science Operations Center has been
honored with this prestigious award. As a center, we have enjoyed
great success in previous NASA Software of the Year competitions, and
this award adds to our proud legacy."

Ames has won or been a co-winner of the NASA Software of the Year
award nine times since it was initiated in 1994. For this year's
award, there were two runner ups - LEWis ICE accretion program
(LEWICE), Version 3.2.2 from NASA's Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland and International Polar Orbiter Processing Package (IPOPP)
from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

A formal ceremony to present the 2010 Software of the Year award will
be held Feb. 9-10, 2011 at the NASA Project Management Challenge
Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Chief Information
Officer sponsor the NASA Software of the Year Competition to identify
innovative software technologies that significantly improve the
agency's exploration of space and maximize scientific discovery on
Earth. A NASA Software Advisory Panel assesses and ranks entries and
reports its findings to NASA's Inventions and Contributions Board.

Ames is responsible for the ground system development, mission
operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission
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 the Kepler
science data.

For more information about Kepler, visit:



http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

Offline Space Pete

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #58 on: 10/23/2010 06:19 PM »
International Team Of Astronomers To Discuss Kepler Findings.

The Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC) at Aarhus University in Denmark will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. EDT to discuss the latest discoveries about stars and their structures using data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft.

Kepler, an observatory launched in March 2009, is designed to search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. NASA and the KASC developed a joint collaboration to further our understanding of the structure and evolution of stars.

NASA's science team uses Kepler data to search for exoplanets, planets outside of the solar system. KASC uses it to investigate the astrophysics of stars. By using the natural pulse of stellar light waves, the research team has examined and characterized thousands of stars, thereby gaining new insights into stellar structure and evolution.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters should e-mail Thomas Sorensen at ths@adm.au.dk by 8 a.m. EDT on Oct. 26. Journalists must include their name, media affiliation and telephone number. At the beginning of the telecon, supporting information will be posted at:
http://astro.phys.au.dk/KASC

The panelists are:
-- Natalie Batalha, professor of physics and astronomy, San Jose State
    University, California and co-investigator on NASA's Kepler Mission.
-- Hans Kjeldsen, associate professor, KASC, Aarhus University, Denmark.
-- Travis S. Metcalfe, scientist at The National Center for Atmospheric
    Research, Boulder, Colorado.
-- Daniel Huber, Ph.D. student, University of Sydney, Australia.
-- Thomas Kallinger, postdoctoral student, Universities of British
    Columbia, Canada.
-- Katrien Kolenberg, postdoctoral student, Institute of Astronomy in
    Vienna, Austria.
-- Steven Bloemen, Ph.D. student, Instituut voor Sterrenkunde,
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:
www.nasa.gov/newsaudio


www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/oct/HQ_M10-150_Kepler_Update.html
« Last Edit: 10/23/2010 06:19 PM by Space Pete »
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #59 on: 10/26/2010 10:19 PM »
RELEASE: 10-276

NASA'S KEPLER SPACECRAFT TAKES PULSE OF DISTANT STARS

WASHINGTON -- An international cadre of scientists that used data from
NASA's Kepler spacecraft announced Tuesday the detection of stellar
oscillations, or "starquakes," that yield new insights about the
size, age and evolution of stars.

The results were presented at a news conference at Aarhus University
in Denmark by scientists representing the Kepler Asteroseismic
Science Consortium (KASC). The team studied thousands of stars
observed by Kepler, releasing what amounts to a roster of some of
humanity's most well-characterized stars.

Analysis of stellar oscillations is similar to how seismologists study
earthquakes to probe the Earth's interior. This branch of science,
called astroseismology, produces measurements of stars the Kepler
science team is anxious to have.

"Using the unparalleled data provided by Kepler, KASC scientists are
quite literally revolutionizing our understanding of stars and their
structures," said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler Program Scientist at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "What's more, they are doing so at no
cost to the American taxpayer. All the KASC scientists are supported
by research funding from their home countries. It is a perfect
illustration of the tremendous value that our international partners
bring to NASA missions."

In the results presented Tuesday, one oscillating star took center
stage: KIC 11026764 has the most accurately known properties of any
star in the Kepler field. In fact, few stars in the universe are
known to similar accuracy. At an age of 5.94 billion years, it has
grown to a little over twice the diameter of the sun and will
continue to do so as it transforms into a red giant. The oscillations
reveal that this star is powered by hydrogen fusion in a thin shell
around a helium-rich core.

"We are just about to enter a new area in stellar astrophysics," said
Thomas Kallinger, lead author on a study of red giant stars and
postdoctoral fellow at the Universities of British Columbia and
Vienna. "Kepler provides us with data of such good quality that they
will change our view of how stars work in detail."

KASC scientists also reported on the star RR Lyrae. It has been
studied for more than 100 years as the first member of an important
class of stars used to measure cosmological distances. The
brightness, or light wave amplitude, of the star oscillates within a
well-known period of about 13.5 hours. Yet during that period, other
small cyclic changes in amplitude occur -- behavior known as the
Blazhko effect.

The effect has puzzled astronomers for decades, but thanks to Kepler
data, scientists may have a clue as to its origin. Kepler
observations revealed an additional oscillation period that had never
been previously detected. The oscillation occurs with a time scale
twice as long as the 13.5-hour period. The Kepler data indicates the
doubling is linked to the Blazhko effect.

"Kepler data ultimately will give us a better understanding of the
future of our sun and the evolution of our galaxy as a whole," said
Daniel Huber, lead author on one of the KASC studies.

Launched in March 2009, Kepler was designed to discover Earth-size
planets orbiting other stars. The spacecraft uses a huge digital
camera, known as a photometer, to continuously monitor the brightness
of more than 150,000 stars in its field of view as it orbits around
the sun. Kepler searches for distant worlds by looking for
"transits," when a planet passes in front of a star, briefly causing
it to dim. The amount of dimming reveals the size of the planet
compared to the size of the star.

For more information about the findings by the KASC scientists, visit:



http://astro.phys.au.dk/KASC/


For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/kepler 


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