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W. J. Borucki, D. G. Koch, J. J. Lissauer (NASA Ames), G. S. Basri (UCal.,Berkeley), D. A. Caldwell, E. DeVore, J. M. Jenkins (SETI Instit.), J. J. Caldwell (York U., Canada), J. Christensen-Dalsgaard (Aarhus U., Denmark), W. D. Cochran (U. Texas), E. W. Dunham (Lowell Obs.), T. N. Gautier (JPL), J. C. Geary, D. A. Latham, D. Sasselov (SAO), R. L. Gilliland (STScI), A. Gould (Lawrence Hall Science, Berkeley), S. B. Howell (NOAO), Y. Kondo (GSFC), D. G. Monet (USNOFS)
Kepler is a Discovery-class mission designed to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in and near the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. The instrument consists of a 0.95 m aperture photometer designed to obtain high precision photometric measurements of >100,000 stars to search for patterns of transits. The depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. At the end of the four year mission, several hundred terrestrial planets should be discovered if such planets are common.
Multi-band ground-based observation of 5x106 stars in the Kepler FOV is currently underway to estimate stellar parameters and choose appropriate targets. The poster by Latham et al discusses the filter set, magnitude range, and current status of the Kepler Input Catalog. The poster by Brown et.al. describes the methods used to go from these observations and stellar models to Teff and log(g). With these parameters, dwarf stars can be selected and both the star and planet diameters can be calculated. When transit patterns are detected, the positions of discovered planets relative to the habitable zone can be estimated.
Both the Schmidt corrector and 1.4 m aperture primary mirror have been fabricated and are being polished. Forty-six CCD detectors have been delivered, tested, and are being prepared for mounting in modules that will be installed in the focal plane. As of Oct. 2005, the first CCD driver, data acquisition, and science data accumulator boards have been functionally tested. And Build 0 of the flight software has been completed and tested. These support reading out of the 96 megapixel focal plane as often as every 3 sec. A more complete discussion of the spacecraft and instrument development can be found in the poster by Koch et al.
If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.kepler.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.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.