AAS 197, January 2001
Session 54. Education and Public Outreach
Joint Display, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[54.14] A Planet Detection Tutorial and Simulator

D. Koch (NASA Ames Research Center)

Detection of extra-solar planets has been a very popular topic with the general public for years. Considerable media coverage of recent detections (currently at about 50) has only heightened the interest in the topic. School children are particularly interested in learning about recent astronomical discoveries. Scientists have the knowledge and responsibility to present this information in both an understandable and interesting format.

Most classrooms and homes are now connected to the internet, which can be utilized to provide more than a traditional "flat" presentation. An interactive software package on planet detection has been developed. The major topics include: "1996 - The Break Through Year In Planet Detection"; "What Determines If A Planet Is Habitable?"; "How Can We Find Other Planets (Search Methods)"; "All About the Kepler Mission: How To Find Terrestrial Planets"; and "A Planet Detection Simulator".

Using the simulator, the student records simulated observations and then analyzes and interprets the data within the program. One can determine the orbit and planet size, the planet's temperature and surface gravity, and finally determine if the planet is habitable. Originally developed for the Macintosh, a web based browser version is being developed.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dkoch@mail.arc.nasa.gov

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