A profusion of exoplanets key science results from the kepler mission
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SAO. A Profusion of Exoplanets: Key Science Results from the Kepler Mission. STScI. Jon M. Jenkins SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center Thursday September 22, 2011.

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A Profusion of Exoplanets: Key Science Results from the Kepler Mission

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SAO

A Profusion of Exoplanets:Key Science Results from the Kepler Mission

STScI

  • Jon M. Jenkins

  • SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center

  • Thursday September 22, 2011


Do there exist many worlds or is there but a single one? This is one of the most noble and exalted questions in the study of Nature— Saint Albertus Magnus 1206-1280

Scholar, Patron Saint of Scientists

Credit: Carter Roberts


The Kepler Mission

What fraction of sun-like stars in our galaxy host potentially habitable Earth-size planets?


How Hard is it to Find Good Planets?

Jupiter:

Jupiter

1% area of the Sun (1/100)

Earth or Venus

0.01% area of the Sun (1/10,000)


Kepler Field Of View

Credit: Carter Roberts


First Light Image

  • Launched March 7 2009


The Kepler Spacecraft and Instrument


Pre-Kepler Transiting Planets as of June 2009

Jupiter

Neptune

Earth


Kepler Candidates as of June 2010

Jupiter

Neptune

Earth


Kepler Candidates as of February 1, 2011

Jupiter

Over 408 Planets in 170 Planetary Systems!

Neptune

Earth


Kepler Candidates as of February 1, 2011

Jupiter

Neptune

Earth


Kepler-11: Simply Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


Kepler: Big Data, Big Challenges

Big Data:

  • >150,000 target stars

  • 6x106 pixels collected and stored per ½ hour

  • ~40 GB downlinked each month

  • >40×109 points in the time series over 3.5 years

Big Processing Challenges

  • Instrument effects are large compared to signal of interest

  • Observational noise is non-white and non-stationary

  • ~100×106 tests per star for planetary signatures [O(N2)]


Instrumental Signatures

Bayesian approaches look promising!


The Search Problem


Solar Variability


Single Transit Statistics


Folded Transit Statistics


Conclusions

  • Kepler has found well over 1200 planetary candidates

  • Kepler has doubled the number of known planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy

  • We’re finding that small planets are more common than large planets

  • We’ve found a planet similar to Tatooine orbiting two stars

  • We find that multiple planet systems are quite common

  • Each day we are getting closer and closer to finding an Earth-Sun analog


Kepler-16b


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