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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

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
slide2

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
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
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
Kepler Field Of View

Credit: Carter Roberts

first light image
First Light Image
  • Launched March 7 2009
kepler candidates as of february 1 2011
Kepler Candidates as of February 1, 2011

Jupiter

Over 408 Planets in 170 Planetary Systems!

Neptune

Earth

kepler big data big challenges
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
Instrumental Signatures

Bayesian approaches look promising!

slide19

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
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