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Kepler Mission
djellison
post Jul 26 2010, 07:34 PM
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I've posted elsewhere - these are 'Earth-like' planets, in the same way a cow is 'Car-like'

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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 26 2010, 07:39 PM
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Well, this leak story has even reached Science:

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/...h-in-earth.html

Although the planets that Sasselov presented ARE candidates and he said that in his presentation, many people are reading into the very confident, affirmative way he said that "there are Earth-like planets" in the data. His chart also says ~1160 planet candidates, which is a big boost from the 706 stars with candidates announced in June. But, the other chart says 700. So, whose to know?
QUOTE
"You can see here [Chart] - small planets dominate the picture. The planets which are marked "like Earth" - definitely more than any of the other planets that we see. Now for the first time we can say that. There is a lot more work we need to do with this. Most of these are candidates and in the next few years - we will confirm them - but the statistical result is loud and clear - and the statistical result is that planets like our own Earth are out there."

So, although most of these are probably baking-hot corona-grazers, Sasselov seems to be hinting that some are in the HZ.
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Hungry4info
post Jul 26 2010, 08:35 PM
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The ~1160 planets is the 700 Kepler candidates plus the ~460 already known from various non-Kepler surveys.


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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 26 2010, 08:39 PM
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Ah, got it. That makes much more sense, thanks.
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Habitable Zoner
post Jul 26 2010, 10:17 PM
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I'm not too worried about public perception. We don't need the science team backtracking on announcements, since that looks bad and calls the data into question. But if the popular press just misinterprets the data, that's primarily an educational opportunity. True, there will be some lingering confusion. But at the end of the Kepler extended mission, we'll have everything wrapped up in a nice digestible package that can get boilerplated into the textbooks and amateur websites.
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Hungry4info
post Jul 26 2010, 10:54 PM
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Well said.


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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 26 2010, 11:50 PM
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I recall reading somewhere a mention by a member of the Kepler team that they intend to submit a follow on Discovery proposal for a spectroscopic telescope to characterize planets. Has anyone heard about that or know more?

I suppose we might find out once the Discovery proposals are due in a few months.
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Hungry4info
post Jul 27 2010, 01:02 AM
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It's too early for such a mission. Kepler's planets are spectroscopically inaccessible to even the next generation of telescopes due to their extreme distance, star faintness, etc. Kepler's goal is to quantify ηEarth to aid in the design and planning of the next step, a search for the Earth-like planets among the nearest stars with something like SIM-lite. Those planets will be accessible to direct imaging and spectroscopic characterisation of their atmospheres, in what will be the third step, a TPF/Darwin type mission.

Nearby transiting earths in the habitable zone of their stars like those which may be discovered from the MEarth project may be accessible to telescopes like JWST but only with considerable time and effort (watching many transits to build up a sufficient S/N ratio to characterise their atmospheres).


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Greg Hullender
post Jul 27 2010, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jul 26 2010, 10:39 AM) *
I hope the Kepler team avoid using "Earth-like" full-stop. That term should be kept until we find a world that truly is "Earth-like", i.e. in terms of size, orbit, and habitability.

Considering that a metal-rich star is one with lots of carbon and oxygen, and an ice giant is a planet containing lots of steam, I'm going to suggest they call these "mushroom planets."

--Greg :-)
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Syrinx
post Jul 27 2010, 04:01 AM
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QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Jul 26 2010, 04:50 PM) *
I recall reading somewhere a mention by a member of the Kepler team that they intend to submit a follow on Discovery proposal for a spectroscopic telescope to characterize planets. Has anyone heard about that or know more?

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...st&p=159109

Basically what you've already said. It was Bill Borucki who said they'd propose a spectroscopy mission. I haven't heard/read anything about it since that time.
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Greg Hullender
post Jul 27 2010, 04:03 AM
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MSNBC is reporting that NASA will issue some sort of clarification tomorrow.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/...k-causes-a-stir

It doesn't say exactly what form that will take, though.

--Greg
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remcook
post Jul 27 2010, 07:07 AM
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QUOTE (Drkskywxlt @ Jul 27 2010, 12:50 AM) *
I recall reading somewhere a mention by a member of the Kepler team that they intend to submit a follow on Discovery proposal for a spectroscopic telescope to characterize planets. Has anyone heard about that or know more?

I suppose we might find out once the Discovery proposals are due in a few months.


I think that is this one:
http://thesis.iap.fr/
http://ces.jpl.nasa.gov/documents/thesisWh...er_v7-swain.pdf
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 27 2010, 05:37 PM
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Thanks, Remcook! That's exactly the type of thing I was looking for. Perhaps the European mission will be competed for the next selection of M or L class missions? It sounds like that type of mission would be tough on a Discovery budget. Maybe NF-class, but astrophysics missions aren't eligible for NF.
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ustrax
post Jul 28 2010, 10:17 AM
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Sasselov clarifying things:
http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/newui/blog/viewpo...blogname=kepler


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tasp
post Jul 28 2010, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jul 26 2010, 07:34 PM) *
Considering that a metal-rich star is one with lots of carbon and oxygen, and an ice giant is a planet containing lots of steam, I'm going to suggest they call these "mushroom planets."

--Greg :-)





smile.gif

First Eleanor Cameron reference here that I am aware of!

Thanx for the memories.


Maybe someone on the Kepler team would get some cover art for a little memento . . . .
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