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Kepler Space Telescope

Kepler Space Telescope

The objective of the Kepler space telescope is to search for planetary systems outside of our solar system. It will be placed into a solar orbit that trails Earth, so it can scan distant light sources with no interference, but also easily relay data back to Earth for analysis.

Kepler Spacecraft to Hunt Earth-Like Worlds – [space.com]

“In order to find Earth-sized planets, you need to stare at the same place in space and look for dips in the light curve,” said John Troeltzsch, Ball Aerospace program manager for civil space systems. Kepler initially will look at 140,000 stars, with project scientists paring the field of study down to 100,000 stars, Troeltzsch said. Building the NASA Discovery-class Kepler has meant harnessing a trio of key capabilities: pointing accuracy, a very large field of view and low-noise electronics to maximize the ability to read data from the sensitive detection system.

Over its three and a half year mission, Kepler will attempt to detect planets 30 to 600 times smaller than Jupiter. Given that Earth-sized worlds do exist around stars like the sun, Kepler is expected to be the first to find them, and the first to measure their frequency. Locating rocky worlds like Earth, including those that lie in a star’s habitable zone, could mean identifying planets where liquid water, and perhaps life, could exist.

Kepler Mission – [nasa.gov]

NASA – Kepler – [nasa.gov]

1571 – Kepler – bio – [hackingtheuniverse.com]

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