The Kepler Mission

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mark_d_s

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Where's the Kepler data?

OK... Some gas giant planets orbit within a few hours/days of their host star. So... Kepler should have picked them up by now. But, there have been NO announcements. Why?

I know that data is transimtted from the probe on an 'occasional' basis, But even so, we should be hearing something, even if it's just ... "we THINK we may have found something". Transparency is the keyword here. Yet the operators of Kepler seem to want to keep they're collective mouths shut... Why?

Come on Kepler crew... open data 'n' all...
 
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JonClarke

Guest
Re: Where's the Kepler data?

mark_d_s":36ssv5hp said:
OK... Some gas giant planets orbit within a few hours/days of their host star. So... Kepler should have picked them up by now. But, there have been NO announcements. Why?

I know that data is transimtted from the probe on an 'occasional' basis, But even so, we should be hearing something, even if it's just ... "we THINK we may have found something". Transparency is the keyword here. Yet the operators of Kepler seem to want to keep they're collective mouths shut... Why?

Come on Kepler crew... open data 'n' all...
Do you mean the raw data or the results of analysis?

Do you have any idea how long it takes to process the data into a form fit for release?

Do you have any idea of the data release rules?

Do you know how long it takes to turn data into results?

In the absence of such knowledge it is unjustified to imply lack of transparency and of people keeping their mouths shut when they shouldn't.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: Where's the Kepler data?

The Keplar team has had one news conference and a journal letter decribing some preliminary observations of a star showing the instruments are working as expected. Perhaps you should read more about the mission; it was clearly stated up front that the first preliminary results from the survey would be released in about a year when enough data has been collected. The mission is to look for repeated occultations since a single event could be a variation in star output or some other one off event. Multiple occultations allow both the result to be confirmed, and items such as timing and size to be detrmined.

I might suggest you read the Kepler thread in M&L which I will link to here, or visit the Kepler website to learn more about the mission.

And learn some patience....this particular piece of science is going to take time.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=740

In fact, I will merge these posts into that thread later today.
 
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MeteorWayne

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http://kepler.nasa.gov/

Kepler Mission releases light curve data for 9000 variable stars

These stars have been dropped from the Kepler observing list because they are too variable for the purposes of detecting planets, but are otherwise very interesting stars.
 
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abq_farside

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Just a quick bump after I saw this article

......
Looking beyond our solar system, astronomers are gearing up to reveal the initial findings from NASA's Kepler mission next month. Kepler is aimed at determining how many stars in a patch of sky have planets circling around them. Within three years, scientists hope to be able to detect Earth-size planets in the "habitable zones" around alien stars.

After only a few months of observations, leaders of the Kepler team say they've already come across some potentially mind-bending findings. "We have some discoveries that someday, after they're verified, will knock your socks off," the mission's principal investigator, William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center, told msnbc.com.
......
 
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CommonMan

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Thanks for posting that abq_farside, that gives us something to look forward to.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Thanx, I'm looking forward to it. I knew going it it was going to take some time, so I've tried not to think about it much.

It's like waiting for Santa Claus to come on Christmas Eve :)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Personally, I'd rather not see pointless speculation... I can't wait, but since that's how science works, I have to :lol:
 
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alpha_centauri

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Not so much speculation, in fact a comment made by a European Planet Hunting team about early Kepler findings they'd been told about.

Though I doubt it's the same things as this MSNBC article is talking about.
 
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abq_farside

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I just thought there had been some quiet talks about it already that some might have gotten word of but were waiting for the proper time and proper confirmation before going public officially.
 
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MeteorWayne

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2009 Dec 16. RELEASE : 09-156AR - NASA Transfers Kepler Mission Management to Ames Research Center Excerpt: MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA today transferred management of all operations for the Kepler Mission from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., to NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. ...James Fanson, the JPL project manager, is succeeded by the new project manager, Roger Hunter of NASA Ames. William Borucki of NASA Ames is the mission’s science principal investigator and David Koch of NASA Ames is the deputy science principal investigator. ...“The transition of the mission leadership from JPL to Ames is the culmination of a transition plan agreed to some time ago by the two centers,” Hunter said. "Ames had a large role in the development of the mission, and plays an even larger role in its operation. The transfer of the project management role is the final milestone of this mission transition." ... The mission is scheduled to continue conducting science operations until at least November 2012
 
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rocketmonkey

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I just cant wait until the results come out. I want to see how many planets we can check on to see if the aliens are intelligent or not. Im an astrobiologist fan so this is my favorite mission.

If anyone has any idea what the results for the first year are PLEASE tell me how to find out. :) PLEASE! :lol:
 
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MeteorWayne

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rocketmonkey":1kcai3bk said:
I just cant wait until the results come out. I want to see how many planets we can check on to see if the aliens are intelligent or not. Im an astrobiologist fan so this is my favorite mission.

If anyone has any idea what the results for the first year are PLEASE tell me how to find out. :) PLEASE! :lol:
Again, PATIENCE!!

The mission to find confirmed planets at "goldilocks" distances will take the full 3 years of the mission. Real science can't be rushed.

However, some preliminary results (probably not involving such planets) will be released at the AAS conference, which started today.
 
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rocketmonkey

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Hey, I heard that results were coming out on the first year of the mission. And don't blame me for saying that because I heard it here on Space.com. :|
 
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MeteorWayne

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rocketmonkey":10i2ece5 said:
Hey, I heard that results were coming out on the first year of the mission. And don't blame me for saying that because I heard it here on Space.com. :|
Sorry, you'll have to show me where that was said regarding the primary purpose of the mission which is to discover panets in 1 year orbits. It requires at least 3 events to confirm it is not just stellar fluctuations. The transit needs to be observed 3 times to ensure it is the same planet passing in front of a stable star. The dimunation in the stellar magnitude must have the same depth, shape, and duration for all 3 transits to ensure its not a spurious result.

Please find something that says I am wrong, that I did not argue with immediately.

Look at the Kepler website, and you will see the same thing. That is what I have always used as a reference...those who designed the mission for a specific purpose.
 
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Astro_Robert

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Nobody seems to have posted anything now that some data has actually been released.

Yes, it does seem as if they are being carefull and taking due time in analyzing and confirming results. The release states that the few released planets are based on data from the first ~45 days of the mission. So if it is a 6-month delay so sort through, identify and verify the data prior to release, well that is probably par for the course if you compare to many other missions.

Hopefully this will continue to be a fruitfull mission leading upto the detection of planets in habital orbits. I mean planets not just terrestrial planets, because both the Ewoks and the Na'Vi live on moons :)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Some first results:(Allvery short period planets as you would expect from early data)

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/1 ... eries.html

WASHINGTON — The list of known exoplanets in the galaxy just got bigger, thanks to the first observations of NASA's Kepler space telescope, which found five new lightweight worlds orbiting distant stars.

"I would like to announce today the discovery of five exoplanets by Kepler," said Kepler science director William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., here today at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The planet-hunting Kepler, which hopes to discover alien Earths, also found an odd object orbiting a star and is measuring the quakes that ripple across stellar surface.

The five newfound planets are all much larger than the Earth-sized bodies Kepler was designed to find, with one coming in at around the size of Neptune, and the other four measuring larger than Jupiter.

All five planets orbit very close to their stars, with orbital periods of around three to four days, and so are very hot. Their temperatures are above those of molten lava; even iron would melt on their surfaces.

"So these are very hot, very bright planets," Borucki said.

While the Neptune-sized planets, dubbed Kepler 4b, is about the density of the ice giants in our solar system (and so likely has an abundance of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium), one of the other newfound planets, Kepler 7b, has one of the lowest densities of any planet ever discovered, Borucki said.

Its density is less than that of water and "is the same as Styrofoam," Borucki said, providing astronomers with a puzzle of just what the structure of these lightweight planets is.
 
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MeteorWayne

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From Comcast:

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-ge ... e.Mystery/

The Kepler Telescope, launched in March, discovered the two new heavenly bodies, each circling its own star. Telescope chief scientist Bill Borucki of NASA said the objects are thousands of degrees hotter than the stars they circle. That means they probably aren't planets. They are bigger and hotter than planets in our solar system, including dwarf planets.

"The universe keeps making strange things stranger than we can think of in our imagination," said Jon Morse, head of astrophysics for NASA.

The new discoveries don't quite fit into any definition of known astronomical objects, and so far don't have a classification of their own. Details about the mystery objects were presented Monday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

For now, NASA researcher Jason Rowe, who found the objects, said he calls them "hot companions."

How hot? Try 26,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hot enough to melt lead or iron.

There are two leading theories for what the objects might be and those theories cover both ends of the cosmic life cycle:

_Rowe suggests they are newly born planets. New planets have extremely high temperatures, and in this case Rowe speculates they might be only about 200 million years old.

_Ronald Gilliland of the Space Telescope Science Institute says they could be white dwarf stars that are dying and stripping off their outer shells and shrinking.
 
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bushwhacker

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Ok, This really confuses me. How can something orbiting a star actually be hotter than that star?
Just doesn't make sense
 
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centsworth_II

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bushwhacker":1r1zox6j said:
....How can something orbiting a star actually be hotter than that star?
Two possibilities are given in the article: Newly born planets and white dwarf stars. Both these things create their own heat.
 
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dragon04

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5 new EP's (extrasolar planets), one of which is only 4x Earth's radius. I don't recall reading how small a planet Kepler could resolve. Good stuff. Can't wait to see what comes next. :)
 
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babea

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I read that the Kepler Obs also will be remeasuring the size of the Universe. Awesome
 
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