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Kepler's Exo- hunter Telescope

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Jessica Cheuk

on 5 January 2015

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Transcript of Kepler's Exo- hunter Telescope

Uses transit method
constant field of view
measures many stars at once

How does Kepler find planets?

Process of finding planets
has fixed view
measures target stars many times per day

Kepler's Telescope
Determine range of size and shape of orbits of these planets

Kepler's Exo-hunter Telescope
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
- telescope construction
- initial operation

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
- flight system development

Ames Research Center, NASA
- ground system development
- mission operations since 2009
- science data analysis

Kepler's Exo-hunter Telescope
Design of spacecraft
Why do we need to search for habitable planets?
13206818 CHEUK Hiu Ngai Jessica
13209612 CHEUK Tsz Yan Monica
13509349 MARTIN Derrick Christopher

To explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems by surveying a large sample of stars


History of
Kepler's telescope
January 2006

Launch of project delayed for a year due to fiscal problems, as a result of budget cuts in NASA

Planned lifetime of Kepler was 3.5 years, which was to be ended in September 2012

7 March, 2009
03:49:57 UTC
Kepler observatory launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Early April 2009
Cover of the telescope removed and first light image was taken
June 2009
First science data sent back to Earth
October 2010
2 focal plane modules failed
November 2012
NASA announced completion of
primary mission
Extended mission began

May 2013
Another reaction wheel failed
Entered "Point Rest State"
Collection of science data disabled
Second Light (K2)
New mission plan of spacecraft proposed in November 2013

To utilize Kepler's remaining capability by solar pressure 

Underwent successful testing in early 2014

Why do we need to find habitable planets?
Maybe we're not alone!

If Earth becomes inhabitable, with future technology, we can always go to other Earth-like planets

Possibilities to discover new planetary system and formation of planets by identifying properties of host stars

Maybe we're not alone!

Earth will become inhabitable because of...
- nuclear war
- asteroid hit......
Apps and Games
Travel to the Exoplanets
Exoplanet app
Exoplanet Explorer
Eyes on Exoplanets
Earth Similarity Index
0= no similarity
1= identical to Earth

is a planetary property
(i.e. surface temperature)

0.8 can be considered an
Earth-like planet
Kepler 186 f
Fact sheet
Constellation: Cygnus
Planetary system: 5-planet star system
Host star: M (red) dwarf
(1/2 mass and size of Sun)
Distance: 500 l.y.
Size: +40% > Earth
Mass and composition: unknown
Identify properties of the planets
- reflectivities
- sizes
- masses
- densities

Determine number of terrestrial planets with
1) half to twice Earth-size
2) lies in or near
habitable zone

Habitable Zone
Goldilocks zone
or E
Defined as region around star where planetary bodies can support liquid H2O

July 2012
one of the four
reaction wheels
for fine pointing
Find planets with larger periods of orbiting or
around fainter stars
Combine more transits to reduce effects of
noises in received signals

Ultimate goal

To explore the possibilities of
Extraterrestrial life
Project Contributors
Determined by
1) properties of planetary atmospheres
2) surface temperature of planets
3) amount of radiant energy received
from the star(s)
Range of Habitable zone relative to star's luminosity
Games / Web

How to find

Doppler spectroscopy
Direct imaging
Gravitational lensing
Transit method

Direct Imaging
uses reflected light and radiation to detect planets
can only detect large planets orbiting far from their host stars and close to the sun


uses stars' gravity to detect
planets directly
Stars must be nearly exactly aligned
planet orbiting lensing star contributes
to gravitational lensing
this extra lensing is measured

Kepler keeps an uninterrupted view on
target stars
Kepler orbits sun in a way so the sun
does not interfere with observation
field of view is away from center of galaxy
to avoid false data from nearby stars

Kepler field of view

More details on Transit Method

light detected from stars is measured over a long period of time with many observations
transits occur for 2-16 hours

How does Kepler find Earth-like planets?
People look for discovered planets less than 1.5 times the diameter of Earth
Star mass, radius and temperature is measured
Habitable zone of star is calculated
planet distance from star is calculated by speed of orbit

Doppler spectroscopy
known as the “wobble method”
uses radar to measure star moving towards and away from us

Transit method
uses change in light of star to detect planets
good for detecting planets close to host star
can only be used for planets that orbit stars in a way so planets transit in front star

Closest, most Earth-like planet Kepler
186f is 500 l.y. away (1st Earth-size,
Earth-like planet! 18 April, 2014)
is the corresponding terrestrial reference
value (i.e. 288 K)
is a weight exponent

n is the number of planetary properties
Full transcript