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How to find a planet?

How to find a planet?

An introductory talk on NASA's Kepler and K2 missions, presented in August 2017.

Geert Barentsen

August 01, 2017
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  1. How to find

    a planet?
    (Not what the actual data look like)
    @GeertHub
    www.geert.io

    github.com/barentsen

    Geert Barentsen

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  2. Are we alone?

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  3. Detecting Planet Transits

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  4. Jupiter Earth
    Small planets are really hard to find

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  5. Jupiter Neptune
    2 x Earth Earth
    Small planets are really hard to find

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  6. *
    •need to look at the right place
    • at the right time
    •and measure the brightness of stars
    • with extreme accuracy

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  7. NASA’s Kepler Mission
    “Are Earth-like planets common?”

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  8. *
    Kepler was launched on 6 March
    2009
    Attached to a big telescope
    100 megapixel camera (100 deg2)

    Makes movies of stars!
    The Kepler Spacecraft

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  9. *
    March 6, 2009

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  10. *
    The Kepler Field of View

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  11. • So what does the data look like?

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  12. Exoplanet Detections, 1989-1995
    Radius Relative to Earth
    Orbital Period in days
    Earth

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  13. Radius Relative to Earth
    Orbital Period in days
    Earth
    Jupiter
    Exoplanet Detections, 1989-1995

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  14. Radius Relative to Earth
    Orbital Period in days
    Exoplanet Detections, 1995-2009

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  15. Radius Relative to Earth
    Orbital Period in days
    Earth
    Exoplanet Detections, 1995-2013

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  16. Too big!
    Just right.
    Too small!

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  17. 2009-2013
    Kepler observed 200,000 stars over 4 years,
    finding 4,496 candidate planets

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  18. And then it BROKE

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  19. Balancing Solar Pressure

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  20. Kepler now changes its pointing every 3 months
    ecliptic
    This is called the K2 Mission

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  21. The Pleiades

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  22. Photometry of the Seven Sisters

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  23. Are we alone?

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