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July 11, 2012

Mtg: The Kepler Mission: Zeroing in on Habitable Earths

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under ALL, Computers/Software, NanoEngineering, Optics/Displays, Semiconductors

TUESDAY August 7, 2012
SCV Photonics Chapter
Speaker: Douglas Caldwell, Kepler Instrument Scientist, SETI Institute
Time: Networking/Light Dinner at 6:00 PM; Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: Keypoint Credit Union, 2805 Bowers Ave, Santa Clara
RSVP: from website (for food count)

NASA’s Kepler Mission was launched on March 6, 2009 with the goal of determining the frequency of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars.? Kepler continuously and simultaneously monitors over 150,000 stars using a 0.95 meter Schmidt telescope and a 95 megapixel CCD camera searching for the small change in brightness as a planet transits its host star.? The driving design requirement was the ability to detect the 84 parts-per-million signal from an Earth-size planet transit.? As such, stability of the instrument and continuity of the data are keys for success.? Kepler has been collecting data for over three years and has already revolutionized the field of extrasolar planets, detecting over 2,300 planet candidates, the first Earth-size planets, the first circumbinary planets, and over 360 multiple-planet systems.? The project was recently awarded a mission extension by NASA so that Kepler can continue collecting data and results for another four years.

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