A few acknowledgements. When I first started reading about the Kepler mission, the Kepler website proved invaluable. It has a wealth of information, as well as some really good, pre-made and field-tested, material for educators.
A few acknowledgements.
When I first started reading about the Kepler mission, the Kepler websiteproved invaluable.
It has a wealth of information, as well as some really good, pre-made and field-tested, material for educators.
I’ve borrowed liberally from the Transit Tracks worksheet and Transit Tracks PowerPoint presentation, especially
in some of the notes.
I also used parts a nice lab, linked here, that covers much of the same material but
that is suitable for a slightly more mature audience.
I think that I’ve cited sources for all of the images as well as all of the information found in the notes
(much of which were not used, but give a bit more information on the topics). If I’m missing a citation that
you notice, please let me know.
Transit graphs and extrasolar planets
Teaching Contemporary mathematics conference
Spotted in 2004, the smaller red dot (the planet) is about 3 to 10 times more massive than Jupiter and is spinning around a brown dwarf, which is an object larger than a planet but without enough mass to ignite into a burning star.
Mass: eight times the mass of Jupiter
Orbital radius: more than 300 AU
Temperature: over 2700°F
Credit: Gemini Observatory
According to NASA,
Kepler seeks evidence of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars.
(Photo : Reuters)
An artist's rendition of the Kepler satellite afloat in space.
Kepler field of view
Exoplanet transit simulator
Another exoplanet transit simulator
Light-curve for HD209458b,
the first-discovered and
best-known transiting planet
(from Perryman 2000)
Do you see the periodic transits?
An expanded view…
How are the planet’s size and
period seen in the light curve?
The mathematics of a transit curve
The square of the orbital period, T, of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis, a, of its orbit.
If expressed in units
THE ACTUAL KEPLER 4B LIGHT CURVE
You can get to this data
from this link
Planet temperature can be determined from the parent star’s brightness and the planet’s size and orbital distance.
GEOMETRIC PROBABILITY OF TRANSITS
solid angle of planet =
solid angle of sphere =
probability of transit
You can also download Kepler Times Series files to analyze yourselves: